Artist / Nicky Hirst

(Co-Curator ARTfutures 2008) The two words could be seen as a direct response to Hirst’s involvement in the curatorial process. Abracadabra is a word now commonly used as an incantation or spell by stage magicians. In ancient times, however, it was taken much more seriously as an incantation to be used as a cure for fevers and inflammations. Theories about the source of the word are, ‘I create as I speak’ which is thought to be in reference to God creating the universe by speaking. Hallelujah, Halleluyah, or Alleluia, is a transliteration of the Hebrew meaning ‘praise Yah’. It is found mainly in the Bible in the book of Psalms and is the Hebrew word for requesting a congregation to join in praise. The best translation of hallelujah is "Praise Yah, you people", usually worded in English versions as "Praise ye the LORD" or "Praise the LORD". “Nicky Hirst has found a font in which the letters are adorned with flowers; owls and songbirds perch on them, and fish swim through their interstices. The original typographer-illustrator might have been thinking of language as a thing quite apart from nature, but the key message here is a commonplace: words make pictures. Nicky Hirst has found a picture – a metaphor – for metaphor”. David Lillington.

Nicky Hirst, Abracadabra (detail)

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Abracadabra (detail), 2008, printed paper and pins, 200 x 26cm, image courtesy the artist..
Nicky Hirst, Abracadabra (detail)