The Portland Society for Calligraphy Presents:

Developing Meaning

A workshop with Brody Neuenschwander
Tuesday, June 18 through Saturday, June 22, 2019  (5 Days)

9:00 AM to 4:00 PM all days

Location:  Reed College, Cooley Gallery

This workshop is appropriate for Intermediate to Advanced students

Tuition: $370 members, $400 non-members  (includes 15 half sheets of Arches text wove & sumi ink)

Supply Fee: $10.00, payable to the instructor

Registration opens April 15, 2019

(Do not postmark registrations before this date)
Registration Form

Supply List

About this Workshop

Do you begin a new piece of calligraphy with a laborious search for a worthy text?  Or do you just want to splash some colors on the paper and then do some lovely italics on top?  Or do you sometimes sit there and think: “I am in a rut and always do the same thing.  How do I find a new and exciting idea for this piece?”If any of this sounds familiar, then this is the course for you. You will not have to write worthy quotes – your own thoughts are much more profound.  And you will not be faced with the dilemma of how to make the work interesting or colorful – that will all happen because you will be investigating your own words and your own experiences. The result will be an artist’s book that will surprise you and everyone in the workshop. And it will lead you to deeper places in your own life that will inspire your calligraphy long after the workshop had ended. Before you arrive at the workshop you will be asked to write some short texts about experiences you have had, and these texts will form the core of your book.  We will focus on meaning, not design. Everything you do in your book will be to enhance its meaning. Let the look take care of itself. You will produce a multi-faceted interpretation of your texts, using calligraphy, found letters, mixed media, journal work, drawing, etc.  

We will stop every now and then for a discussion of modern art, especially modern art with text in it.The focus will be on art that asks the viewer to do at least half the brainwork. These discussions will help you to deepen the  meaning in your work by explaining some of the strategies used by many modern artists. 

I absolutely love teaching this workshop, because in truth you will all teach yourselves and I can just sit back and watch the lights go on.

About the Instructor

Brody Neuenschwander was born in Houston, Texas in 1958. While completing his doctorate  German art history in London, he studied calligraphy at the Roehampton Institute. 

He began his professional career as assistant to Donald Jackson. The English film director, Peter Greenaway, asked him to provide live-action calligraphy for the film “Prospero’s Books”. Greenaway asked pertinent and challenging questions: “Can calligraphy be charged with emotions and historical associations? Can it represent in visual terms sound patterns of the language? Can it explore the tense region between text and image?”

In 1990 Neuenschwander met the German theoretician Hans-Joachim Burgert. Burgert replaces traditional Western standards of precision and regularity by a new formal language, one that is much closer to the esthetic judgments inherent in Arabic and Chinese calligraphy. 

For Neuenschwander this new theory was a revolution. Suddenly the calligraphy of the East, which had always exerted an enormous attraction, could be analyzed and understood, not linguistically, but visually. The image-nature of these writing systems could surface. Arabic and Chinese calligraphy have influenced his work ever since.

In recent years Neuenschwander has continued his studies of Arabic/Islamic and Chinese/Japanese calligraphy. In the project called “A Brush with Silence” calligraphers from the world’s many writing traditions are brought together for a silent calligraphic happening. A television series on the origins and future of the world’s great calligraphic traditions is also in the pipeline.

Neuenschwander lives in Bruges, Belgium and has taught and exhibited throughout Europe, the United States and Japan.


Want to know more about a workshop or have one to suggest?

Contact us at:
Ingrid Slezak, Workshop Chairperson

PSC Workshops
1934 NE Hancock Street
Portland, OR 97212