Letters from the Earth, 2015
Coming upon a beautiful coral D on the beach inspired my thought that letters correlate to natural forms. By now I have the complete alphabet without manipulating the familiar shapes. It has taken me quite a few years… but what a celebration of relationship, interconnectedness, and wonder! My budding passion for letters soared when I came upon a tree that looked like a huge Y stretching its limbs toward the sky! Y, a symbol for praise and prayer, for divining water, for pilgrimage in medieval France—all prime things in my life to the point that Y became a familiar and a source of poetic alphabetical imaginings. After lifetimes of religious inclination and consequent reaching out to the Sky, it was time for me to root the feet of my heart upon the Earth, hence my discovering the beauty of the letter X which embraces the Sky as much as the Earth. From Y to X, my evolutionary alphabet order followed. I was totally unconscious, but once my new order was pointed out to me, I decided to leave it as I had come to me. After all, artists like children (heartists) plant the seeds of a new order!
According to r-evolutionary biologist Mark Changizi, our letterforms mimic natural shapes. He suggests that if words looked like bar-codes or fractal patterns, we would not be able to process them nearly as quickly.
— Ingrid Fettel, Joy as Aesthetics