Scott Boyd: Endangered Alphabets

May - November 2021

Take a virtual tour of the exhibit

Dating back to the Ancient Egyptians and used across cultures for millennia, the obelisk is a reverential memorial, commemorating the dead, representing kings, and honoring gods. In pairing this ancient form with near-extinct languages, Scott Boyd is doing more than memorializing; he is calling attention to the fragility of cultural diversity.

Language is a powerful tool, and Boyd’s use of the words “Hello | Goodbye” in each of the world’s endangered alphabets draws out the emotional impact of the loss of cultures across the globe.

The most striking thing about these alphabets is the variety of sounds and rhythms humankind has shaped into written language, each system imparting the energy of its conception. Language serves as the living expression of a people’s communion with each other, handed down through the generations.

— Mara Williams, Chief Curator

Sculpture is kind of an architectural description of the mind. 
A jumping bean of ideas ricocheting between themselves and their destinations.
A search for the waypoints between infinity and common ground.

Creating a sculpture is like inventing a new language,
developing its vocabulary and finding the abstractions of thought
that can best express its possibilities.

I think of sculpture as a dialectic between form and intention.
A way of thinking, through which contradiction becomes a starting point
rather than a dead end for development and contemplation.

I carve huge sculptures using the world’s highest tides
working in wood, stone and steel, lobster shells and bowling pins,
paying attention to the imagery of structure.

I run with a different crowd in overheated sleeper cars
feeling like I’m barreling ahead backwards.
To calm down, I drum, write poetry, and dance Argentine tango.

I like fine books, lake breezes, and sour cherry pie.
I have a flying studio with very high ceilings—
it offers me everything my sculptures want to be.

— Scott Boyd

RELATED EVENTS

July 28, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. — Endangered Alphabets: Scott Boyd and Tim Brookes

RELATED RESOURCES

Endangered Alphabets Project
Photo Gallery
Virtual Tour
Obelisk Story