Wed, 05 Jan|
The Proverbial Paradox of the Visual Pun
An exhibition of handcrafted images that seek to re-establish the visual pun as a force in modern visual arts. Taking everyday words and phrases, Chris Plato, using engineer’s punches, creates visual puns that enhance and elucidate the viewers understanding
Time & Location
05 Jan 2022, 10:00 – 17 Jan 2022, 16:00
Margate, 31-33 High St, Margate CT9 1DX, UK
About the Event
"The pun is generally considered as humour of a low order - the poor cousin to
wit and satire.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The pun has a long and enviable
pedigree in sharpening the mind and focusing the attention, not only in the
fields of entertainment, politics and the arts, but also in the theatre of war. It
has for centuries been a refined and elegant means of expressing emotions
and ideas, suggesting in its subtle, often humorous way, that the interlocutor
would do well not to take things at face value."
This exhibition and the accompanying lecture, seeks to reinstate the pun as a
mirror to our mores and demonstrate that a well constructed pun, whether
aural or visual can amuse and enlighten simultaneously.
The work on show is constructed by hand, each character being struck by an
engineer's punch onto high quality art paper. The greatest care is given to line
length, spacing and the underlying implications inherent in the word or
phrase. The seeming simplicity, almost banality of the finished designs, belies
the rigour and elegance of their execution.
Chris Plato is a graphic designer, typographer and educator whose artistic
concerns lie in language and its expression through typographic, filmic
and written forms.
In tandem with building a reputation as a teacher and lecturer of graphics,
typography and moving image, working with students in the UK and
abroad, he founded and ran during the 1980’s and 1990’s, his eponymous
design studio in the City of London, undertaking graphic and promotional
design projects for individuals, businesses and corporate clients.
His current design practice focuses on engaging with artist groups,
especially those with an ecological focus such as The Arborealists, who
are obsessed with trees.
Plato’s obsessions are sound, language, letterforms and humour, all of
which are well represented in his design works, song lyrics, flash fiction
and film scripts, the latter of which he has self financed and produced
Born in South East London in the mid 1950’s, he lived on mainland Europe
for a number of years. He currently resides on the English South Coast
with his wife but no pets - as everybody else has a dog.