Sep 10, 2012

The Wandering Scribe

Kate Rolison

I had the pleasure of chatting to Diana Furlong, aka The Wandering Scribe, earlier today. Her event  is one of the more unusual in this year's Art Trail, but definitely a very intriguing spectacle.

Diana has recently qualified as a calligrapher; hence "Scribe". Her Art Trail event is an extension of a stint she did in the E17 Art Exchange, which was briefly located in Wood Street Indoor Market.

Her residency in the Exchange was named The Hatter and The Scribe, and featured Diana's calligraphy drawn live, alongside the head wear creations of "The Hatter". A quick glance at Diana on any given day reveals that she rather likes a hat or two (or three, but not all worn at the same time!)

In "The Scribe's" solo event, she's gone walkabout around Walthamstow, quill pen in hand! She explained to me that her event was staged at different venues over the course of the Art Trail, and that each venue had informed the style of calligraphy used there, along with the "persona" she would take on whilst practising her craft.

Diana's aim in doing this is to offer viewers a complete picture; to really draw them in to the art of calligraphy. So far, this has been very successful, and Diana has found that the persona which has drawn the biggest audience is her "Victoriana" one. Presumably this is to do with the image of the Dickensian clerk, quill in hand, looming large in the public imagination. This is quite helpful to a calligrapher, as the Victorian era offered a huge variety of calligraphic styles.

Diana writes people's names for them in her beautiful hand-drawn scripts, and utterly captivates her audience. Calligraphy (and perhaps even handwriting in general) may be viewed by some as a lost art, but The Wandering Scribe has set out to change this perception.

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