Part art installation, part performance residency and part travelling archive, Voices at Hand is an ongoing project that serves to examine the essence of why we keep letters. 

Prime Data is proud to present this installation at our booth at the AFP Congress in Toronto on November 28-29, 2011.  Voices at Hand is also supported by the Ontario Arts Council.

Each day, Wendy Trusler will read, clip and sort personal correspondence into categories — attending to her own store of letters along with submissions from the public and reading aloud on request. Contributions from the public are encouraged and will be accepted before and during the show.

Wendy Trusler with Voices At Hand at AFP Congress

Wendy Trusler with Voices At Hand Installation

 

This is the fifth port of call for Voices at Hand. Residencies in Peterborough (March 2010), Toronto (October 2010) and Picton (August 2011) and Minden (September 2011) have yielded submissions bringing the collection close to 3,000 letters written in English, French, Italian, Spanish and Russian, spanning 157 years of correspondence.

Bundle of letters from Voices at Hand

A marriage proposal, POW letters home, volumes of cringe-worthy notes passed in class, and a joyous recounting of a reunion in the Channel Islands five days after Liberation Day, are among the stories that colour and texture the collection. To experience more follow the project on Twitter, Facebook or https://voicesathand.blogspot.com. 

And as one letter states (a submission dated  1983):

“Remember letter writing is a dying art and we must do our best to keep up the tradition. Who knows, maybe our grandchildren won’t know what the word ‘letter’ means.”

Wendy Trusler is a visual artist who creates site-responsive installations that incorporate drawing, painting, sculpture and film. Her installations have been presented in a variety of contexts, from galleries to storefronts, industrial spaces to parks. Her interest in the roles that symbol and language play in coding memory continues with Voices at Hand.