Joshua Burgess

Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media Practice | Class of 2021

Letters and Culture

I was first interested to look into religious manuscripts such as The Book of Hours, The Lindisfarne Gospels and The Black Hours. They resemble something unique, something mysterious to me, through their handmade, detailed nature and historical importance.

I became influenced by the Voynich manuscripts, their beautiful and intricate illustrations, that weave through each page.  I wanted to reference these decorative elements of illuminated manuscripts, such as initial letters and borders. Early work involved drawing patterns, designing borders and developing them using watercolour. I represented a mix of different cultures in the patterns, starting off by exploring my own; Celtic and Arabic.

These patterns have been translated into risograph prints playing with colour and layering.  Using collage and ink, these prints became part of the design process for my illuminated typeface.