Niall, Yui and Georgia present an exhibition for 1st year MFA critique and an opening for all upon Friday the 2nd of March.

Today we had our first official meeting in which we outlined our minds meanderings as to how to use our exhibiting opportunity in the old white cube

Plus two little rooms of darkness

as a trio we shall use all three rooms to create a show which explores our mutual fascination with language.

isolation. a negative term? perhaps focussing on THE FOREiGn would

be better

language culture

transform the space into a place which echos foreign lands

the isOLATION of being in unknown places

adjusting to the ways of a new land. time. effort. desire. need.

British Sign Language



Lets use all of the CO2 spaces, un, deux, trois and not quatre roof top


calligraphy on the floor, a Scottish minded idea, actually happens to be a tradition in Singapore.

A large brush and ink. Don’t step on the words, but you can here, by the castle

translation on the floor. nonsense, great!

mandarin characters.[google translate].abc…

so there will be three of us, one event which will be filmed, on the museum roof, we will write at the same time about a time when we suddenly found ourselves unable to communicate verbally, using the languages we knew.

writing outside perhaps in difficult or uncomfortable (Scottish weather) circumstances will hopefully add to a recreation of tricky foreign situations.

we will then swap pieces of writing and translate them using




and will present our translations as

a film of a BSL translator, A sound piece and Painted text on the floor

Dear Louise and Rosie,
I writing to ask if either of you would be interested in translating a short piece of writing for a film.
I am working on an exhibition based on language and communication and have decided to translate three pieces of writing in different ways. We would like to translate one using BSL.
The piece of writing will be about an experience of travel.
As students we do not have very much money im afraid but would love to give you a gift that you would enjoy, perhaps wine or chocolate or some beautiful flowers? I imagine that filming you translate the writing would take no longer than half an hour. We would be happy to do this where ever is easiest for you.
We will need to make the film any time between Wednesday the 22nd (am) and Tuesday the 28th of February.
The film would be displayed in our MFA exhibition space on friday the 2nd of March, alongside other pieces of work and translations.
If you were interested in seeing our final show it would be lovely to have you at our opening on the 2nd. We will have a critique from 4pm till 5pm and then it will be open for a brief viewing.
If you are not interested or do not have time to partake, do you know of anyone else who may be interested? I wondered if amateur translators might see this as an opportunity to practice BSL?
Best wishes
Hi Georgia,
Sounds a great project. Politically you should see if you can get a Deaf person to do this. Why not try Tania Allan – I have cc’ed her into this reply. however, if you can’t get a Deaf person then I would strongly suggest you don’t get someone who is ‘just learning’ (shudder!). Get back to me and I’ll see what I can do to help. But please do see if you can get a native BSL user first please.
Thank you for replying so quickly Rosie and thank you for the advice too, your idea of using a native BSL user makes a lot of sense.

Tania, would you be interested in taking part in our project? We would need to film you translating a piece of writing into BSL anytime between next wed and the following tuesday.

Please read down to the original email, that I sent to Rosie and Louise for more info. It would be great to have you involved!

Best wishes


Hello, wednesday or Friday morning but I will have my little girl with me. TaniaSent from my iPhone

Georgiarose 21st of February 2012

 ten minutes of words on top of the museum roof in the sky all around.


Unknown but this is positive and wonderful. It was a

beginning. It was a time of happenings which were

filled with unexpected detail.

What were the eyes reading

Where were the places round the corner

Everything was in every moment

So fresh and filled with adrenalin- a way of

living to thrive off and fear too

So many unknowns. Bizarre fish and Asahi girls

ice cream in bed of course

Fluorescent blue icy goodness. A cool forehead

wilted shoulders. Wonderful light in the high sky

high towers bright colours abundant sugars

& night- time jumpers really for the snuggle and the safety

& traffic light glare. It made us smile and worry about our distance

from the highlands of our hearts home. These new peaks became our

hearts home and part of them are there now we are native Taiwanese

Scottish adventurers and that is beautiful. Or is

it something different to beautiful perhaps so wholesome and expansive

& filled with life I onwards always live life core pure up.

on the roof with views parted from both and together with

two. Wonderfully whole. onwards to the universe.







在二00九年,我只身前往匈牙利,参加了为期六个星期的国际陶艺工作营。这是我第一次完全身处在一个语言不通的国家,而且当地的居民对于异客的态度也非友好,让我觉得很孤独。每一次想向当地人寻求帮助时,他们都会害怕和我交流,对我避而远之, 不然是对我投以异样的目光。有种排在外感觉



 Stranger in a foreign land

Although I travel around many countries, but also to understand the different national languages, cultures and life, but then once I feel anxious and uneasy.

In 2009, I go alone to Hungary, to participate in a six-week international ceramics work camp. This is the first time I completely live in countries where a language barrier, but local residents for the attitude of the stranger is not friendly, I feel very lonely. Every time I want to ask for help to the locals, they will be afraid to communicate with me, I shunned or cast a strange look. Kind of exclusion feel.

Although this journey experience

Niall’s words:

I arrived at Istanbul airport 8pm. It had only been a short four hour journey so far. I had three hours to kill before my flight to Seoul.. I wandered around and considered ways that I would commit some time murder. I started by having what was the probably the most disgusting coffee in my life followed by some walking back and forth. Bored, I decided that I would sit near my departure gate and read my book., I had noticed a large amount of people heading that way so I decided to follow. Spotting an empty seat in a room already brimming with bodies I pulled out my book and made myself comfortable. My eyes scanned over the first paragraph, stopped, then looked up. Something felt off. Unsure why, I turned back to the page and re-read the first paragraph. The words were not going into my head. Looking up again a strange feeling engulfed me. I noticed that I was surrounded by a totally unintelligible sound. Looking around the room I was suddenly slapped with a blunt realisation. For the next year of my life I would be a foreigner! I was the only white person in a room of about 300 people. I was unable to understand a single word being muttered around me. The cacophony which I had only half noticed before suddenly became deafening to the point that my eyes began to hurt. Every face was completely unrecognisable, I stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb. A feeling of anxiety took over, this was probably the first time in my existence, that I could say that I was truly disconnected from everything around me. The occasional punctuations being the occasional tannoy announcements. Then the feeling of fear began to subside and was replaced by a childlike excitement. I had no idea what………


I also realise it would be
difficult to concentrate doing the translation work when my girl is about and her nursery is in the
morning. I live quite far away in Midlothian and it would not be enough time to do it in the morning
because I will have to rush and pick her up. Next week is busy too. Can you try and find someone
else to do it? T 

Sent from my iPhone

Dear Rosie,
Thank you very much for putting me in touch with Tania, we had a date arranged to do the filming but unfortunately Tania’s daughter was ill and she could not make it. Tania has now decided that she does not have time to take part in our project.
Might you be able to suggest anybody else? Or would you be able to help us? I expect the filming will take about 5 minutes. We will be ever so grateful for any input to help us realise our exhibition idea. We will need to hire a camera again, wednesday would be a good time to do this as the uni camera is hired out for today and tomorro already so booking it for mid next week will probably be fine.
Best wishes
Hi georgia,
I am studying at New College so if you were able to come there I have 11-12 and 1-2 free Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Unfortunately I earn money working at Stevenson College on a Wednesday so that day’s out, but if you are able to come over then we could use one of the seminar rooms or even a corner of Rainy Hall.
Hi Rosie

We have just had confirmation that we can borrow a camera on monday.

Please can we come and film you at 1pm on monday? I have attached the piece of writing incase you would like to read it, but i have it typed out on a sheet of A3 if you would just like to read in off the paper and translate it in the moment. We do not expect you to prepare in anyway. I think it would be good to be rough if you are happy just to do it in the moment. I think it will be very quick to film, so perhaps we will just take ten minutes of your time. Does this sound ok?

I have got directions to stevenson college, sighthill campus, is that where you study?

Bets wishes and thanks v much for your help. Have a good weekend


the whole process evolved from constant conversing. We made all desicions from three points of perspective and our multi angled contemplations were intensely considerate.
words. a real translation Yui to I word for word mandarin WORD english
yellow paint shop on floor Asian pop.
3 times Mandarin voice up upper down
BSL lady quite quite quiet silent round
the dark corner
all three together
123 playing with Language a playful environment
school hand writing I. Maze, hiding
surprise elements which way to go?!
also will scare
words no smooth
anxious and no scare
the eye light.

Use of space no intrusive (no curtain)

Impermeability of language barriers

supposed to feel? Or supposed to struggle to understand it?

text= a double translation?

hide from someone, cannot be conspicuous in space,

hard not to stand on the text a little bit

awkward feeling of being in another country

treading on something you don’t quite understand.


This exhibition architecturally gives a sense of being in another country.

colour choice intensity- annoying colours

like highlighter in a note book

personal narrative written by hand- makes sense.

Constricted by spacing and height

Symbolic language- British Sign Language.


Seeing alphabet reminds of pictographic language. Japanese. disconcerting because there are no pictures, all letters.

Alienation by means of language when travelling.

the space asks questions of the viewer; where to step?

the viewer is not sure where the speaker is of what their relationship to the speaker is (sound installation), where are the recordings coming from?

Tension. Space being Translated

No sense no architecture to to text

elements start to make sense then they do not, almost get there then do not, get confused again.

Sadness is space feel a bit lost paranoia- not sure of things

The three elements bounce off one another

understanding not understanding misunderstanding

due to child like spaces between words

each word is a word, not within a sentence

three things saying the same things?

Word word word word one thing to another disorientating


“These walls are not unlike being in themuseumofScotland”,

“in the modern part, and in parliament.”




Communicate in different ways. Common understanding


community of people who don’t understand;

at their barrier of translation: text/ audio/ BSL.

There is always something missing between the original and the translation.

predictive text nonsense. Auto interpretive devise.


Trail of thoughts disappear and then start up again.

Is another work being made now? Recording us in this gallery space and then showing it outside the room so people can see it before they come in

It’s a fishing trap! The room: get in/ cannot get out because of the zigzagging walls!


The castle castle and the window work well in displaying a tourist symbol



Could is look a bit more exotic? The exotic= fantasy- ‘Exotica’- in the 50’s: A music genre

is an exotic aesthetic inside us, our own perceptions, anyway?

blank walls space= feel familiar= opposes what idea is about…


Your can feel a sense of alienation in your own city- a new building/ street/ piece of space etc

entrance: spaceship waiting bay- airport


Honest in the sense of the reality of TRAvel

Text could be from another time/ era/ culture… 1 0 0 years ago. or from the future… SINGAPOREANDBRITAINARE OPPERATING IN NATIONALLY DIFFERENT TIMES WITH CROssovers. different levels of development.


Utopia by Henry Moore


Reading body language/ BSL, familiar but

in different cultures gestures are different and facial

ways are different so end up over compensating because of unsure tones. And and. Two zero zero nine.

Speaking/ writing different degrees of formALITY.


Imagine and guess

everyone’s ideas are different

and translations

and ways of speaking and



Sitting on the words, floating on top of them

Matrix- ha ha ha ha – words floating on the floor.

chemical synapses: where our thoughts come from.

if one writes: ‘this is a floor’, so it does become a floor     solid. belief

translation- original words- in the gift






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