Teresita Fernández: Night Writing

New York-based artist, Teresita Fernández’s new works, created in collaboration with STPI workshop, evoke the dramatic experience of looking at the night sky for information. Each unique pulp work is perforated with Braille-like patterns that recall constellations. The title of the series, ― Night Writing ‖ is a reference to “Ecriture Nocturne”, a secret code written in the early 19th century so that Napoleon’s soldiers could communicate at night, silently and without light.

Names of people, places and things, from star crossed lovers, to famous gems, to coordinates marked by latitude lines are incorporated into the works as words translated into Braille and made into an abstracted composition of points that are superimposed on large-scale, ink-printed images of the night sky. Artworks such as Tristan and Isolde, Koh-i-Noor, and Tropic of Capricorn are made up of cryptic words lost in an undecipherable code of dots. The works become statements on the ephemeral quality of language and the attempt to grasp the content hidden within the invisible text.

STPI papermakers formed cast sheets of paper and used pressurised water to puncture the wet pulp surface with composed dot patterns. As the paper slowly dried, the holes became tiny irregular openings. A sheet of mirror is placed behind the layer of cast paper to appear through the perforations, capturing the viewer’s movement, reflecting atmospheric colours and light, and animating the surface of the works. Viewers become enmeshed within the act of looking, becoming reflected and absorbed as their own image is superimposed on that of the work. The image of the night sky serves as a conceptual backdrop for the act of searching for meaning within abstracted patterns.

Universally, human beings have always looked up for information. Like a vast billboard, the night sky has always been ―read and scanned for revelation, direction and guidance.
The stars have always served as marks that ground us to a physical location and time; they offer a sensual orientation within the universe.” – Teresita Fernández