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From traditional incised lettering on memorials, to the use of letterforms and typography as works of art in their own right, this is a genre of sculpture with a message. In this Curation you’ll find interesting and varied examples where words, typography and letterforms have been used to create a unique form of sculpture.

44 artworks
The Garden of Floating Words
© courtesy of the artist. Photo credit: Nick Turpin

The Garden of Floating Words 2017

Elisa Artesero

Clear acrylic & neon glass

H 200 x W 50 x D 50 cm

All Schools Should Be Art Schools
© Courtesy of the Artist, Lender and YSP. Photo credit: Jonty Wilde. Courtesy of YSP

All Schools Should Be Art Schools 2017

Bob and Roberta Smith (b.1963)

Painted ply board

H 80 x W 40 x D 1.8 cm

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The Priority of Speech
© DACS 2020. Photo credit: Government Art Collection

The Priority of Speech 2010–2016

Bethan Huws (b.1961)

Aluminium, glass, rubber & plastic letters

H 100 x W 75 cm

Government Art Collection

Thocht Stane (Thought Stone)
© the artist. Photo credit: Donald Stewart / Art UK

Thocht Stane (Thought Stone) 1998

Donald Urquhart (b.1959)

Sandstone & granite

The Tree that Never Grew
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Gordon Baird / Art UK

The Tree that Never Grew

Jennifer Grant

War Memorial
© the artist. Photo credit: Charles Gurrey 2007 and Bletchley Park Trust 2019

War Memorial 2007

Charles Gurrey (b.1953)

Caithness stone

H 260 x W 89 x D 10 cm

Bletchley Park Trust

There is no border here
© the artist. Photo credit: Shilpa Gupta

There is no border here 2006

Shilpa Gupta (b.1976)

High visibility tape

H 118.1 x W 118.1 cm

Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

Flowing Onwards
© the artist. Photo credit: Tracy Jenkins / Art UK

Flowing Onwards

Angela Godfrey (b.1939)

Dunhouse sandstone

H 121 x W 150 cm

Arcadia
© the artist. Courtesy of The Sunday Painter. Photo credit: Nick Turpin

Arcadia 2007

Leo Fitzmaurice (b.1963)

Reflective vinyl, paint, aluminium & steel

H 220 x W 160 x D 10 cm

Suffering Arcadia
© the artist. Photo credit: Scarborough Museums Trust

Suffering Arcadia 2018

Annabel McCourt (b.1975)

Neon

Scarborough Museums Trust

Orbis et umbra
© Hazel Buchan Cameron & Corbenic Poetry Path. Photo credit: Corbenic Poetry Path

Orbis et umbra 2015

Martin Reilly (b.1958) and Hazel Buchan Cameron

Stone, metal & gold leaf

H 50 x W 40 x D 40 cm

Corbenic Poetry Path

The Flame
© the artist. Photo credit: Tracy Jenkins / Art UK

The Flame

Angela Godfrey (b.1939)

Portland stone

H 155 cm

War Memorial
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Andrew Lloyd / Art UK

War Memorial 1919

Eric Gill (1882–1940) and Herbert Joseph Cribb (1892–1967)

Stone

H 26 x W 53 x D 53 cm

Stone of Destiny
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: The Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum

Stone of Destiny

George Ralston Wyllie (1921–2012)

Concrete & aluminium

The Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum

The Book
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Tony Bennett / Art UK

The Book 1998

Peter Nicholas (1934–2015)

Slate & marble

H 183 cm

Constantly to Light
© the artist. Photo credit: The Laurence Sterne Trust

Constantly to Light 2015

Peter Coates (b.1963)

Branshaw sandstone, Pentalikon marble & palladium gilding

H 85 x W 36 x D 16 cm

The Laurence Sterne Trust

X
© Courtesy of the Artist's Estate and YSP. Photo credit: Jonty Wilde. Courtesy of YSP

X 1966

William Turnbull (1922–2012)

Galvanised painted steel

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

No and No and No
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre

No and No and No c.1972

Bernard Schottlander (1924–1999)

Painted steel

H 109 x W 63 x D 46 cm

Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre

I Love Real Life
© the artist. Photo credit: The Pier Arts Centre

I Love Real Life 2007

Ross Sinclair (b.1966)

Neon & perspex

H 26 x W 122 x D 8.5 cm

The Pier Arts Centre

At Night This Water Turns Black
© Laure Prouvost. All rights reserved, DACS 2020. Photo credit: Government Art Collection

At Night This Water Turns Black 2014

Laure Prouvost (b.1978)

Oil, collage & varnish on board, glass of water

H 26.5 x W 21 cm

Government Art Collection

Chthonic Box
© Joe Tilson. All rights reserved, DACS 2020. Photo credit: Government Art Collection

Chthonic Box 1974

Joe Tilson (b.1928)

Wood & mixed media

H 96.5 x W 106.5 x D 9.5 cm

Government Art Collection

More Passion
© Tracey Emin. All rights reserved, DACS 2020. Photo credit: Government Art Collection

More Passion 2010

Tracey Emin (b.1963)

Coral pink neon

H 46 x W 112 cm

Government Art Collection

Work No. 253: THINGS
© Martin Creed. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2020. Photo credit: Government Art Collection

Work No. 253: THINGS 2000

Martin Creed (b.1968)

Yellow neon

H 14.5 x W 75 cm

Government Art Collection

wavespeech
© the artist. Photo credit: The Pier Arts Centre

wavespeech 2015

Edmund de Waal (b.1964)

Gilt

H 12 x W 1495 cm

The Pier Arts Centre

'We are the music makers…'
© the artist. Photo credit: Harlow Art Trust

'We are the music makers…' 2006

Angela Godfrey (b.1939)

Lime

H 133 x W 29.5 x D 8 cm

Harlow Art Trust

Le Bouan crapaud (Toad)
© the artist. Photo credit: Mary P Crowther / Art UK

Le Bouan crapaud (Toad) 2004

Gordon Young (b.1952)

Polished Jersey granite

H 274 cm

Stone Panel* 17th C

unknown artist

Alabaster

H 26 x W 22 x D 8 cm

English Heritage, Helmsley Archaeological Store

Typewriter
© the artist. Photo credit: Leicestershire County Council Artworks Collection

Typewriter

Amy Bonsor (b.1986)

Textile

Leicestershire County Council Artworks Collection

Transnational Anthem 2
© Essex Collection of Art from Latin America. Photo credit: Essex Collection of Art from Latin America

Transnational Anthem 2 1998

Jaime Gili (b.1972)

Customised car plates

H 52 x W 11 x D 5 cm

Essex Collection of Art from Latin America

Happy Hour in the Harmful Factory
© the artist. Photo credit: Scarborough Museums Trust

Happy Hour in the Harmful Factory 2019

Annabel McCourt (b.1975)

Mixed media & neon

Scarborough Museums Trust

Field Holler
© Jim Carruth & Corbenic Poetry Path. Photo credit: Corbenic Poetry Path

Field Holler 2015

Martin Reilly (b.1958) and Jim Carruth (b.1963)

Stone

H 167 x W 63 x D 17 cm

Corbenic Poetry Path

Memorial to Francis Crick (1916–2004)
© the copyright holders. Photo credit: Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge

Memorial to Francis Crick (1916–2004) 2013

Roger Carpenter and Brown and Ralph and Lida Lopes Cardozo Kindersley (b.1954)

Stone

H 5 x W 240 x D 640 cm

Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge

One Cannot Collect All the Beautiful Shells on the Beach
© the artist. Photo credit: Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

One Cannot Collect All the Beautiful Shells on the Beach 2002

Lida Lopes Cardozo Kindersley (b.1954)

Stone

H 21.2 x W 104 x D 104.5 cm

Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Decorative Masks and Associated Carving
Photo credit: Gordon Baird / Art UK

Decorative Masks and Associated Carving 1905–1907

H. H. Martyn & Co.

Doulton Carrara terracotta

What's the Point of Robbery When Nothing is Worth Taking?
© the artist. Photo credit: Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

What's the Point of Robbery When Nothing is Worth Taking? 2009

Jonathan Boyle (b.1971)

Perspex, vinyl & aluminium

H 40 x W 150 x D 16.8 cm

Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

In Course of Arrangement
© the artists. Photo credit: Peter Abrahams, courtesy Paul Stolper Gallery, London 2019

In Course of Arrangement 2005

Peter Saville (b.1955) and Anna Blessmann (b.1969)

Etched & colour infilled satin clear acrylic plastic

H 10.3 x W 15.1 x D 5.2 cm

Government Art Collection

Afterlight
© Gavin Clark & Corbenic Poetry Path. Photo credit: Corbenic Poetry Path

Afterlight 2017

Martin Reilly (b.1958) and Gavin Clark (1969–2015)

Honister slate

H 60 x W 30.8 x D 8.2 cm

Corbenic Poetry Path

The Great Debate Plinth
© the artist. Photo credit: Oxford University Museum of Natural History

The Great Debate Plinth 2010

Alec Peever (b.1954)

Limestone (?)

H 121 x W 42.5 x D 43 cm

Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Woodkirk Stone Monolith
© the artist. Photo credit: Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

Woodkirk Stone Monolith 2008–2009

Teucer Wilson (b.1968)

Stone

H 173 x W 72 x D 44 cm

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

Altrincham Totem
© the artist. Photo credit: Martin Henderson / Art UK

Altrincham Totem 2016 or before

Chris Brammall (b.1973)

Lacquered steel

H 396 cm

Suncycle
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre

Suncycle 1968

Kenelm Cox (1927–1968)

Brass & motor

H 46 x W 5 x D 1 cm

Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre

Faded Wallpaper
© the artist. Photo credit: Government Art Collection

Faded Wallpaper c.1988

Tina Keane (b.1940)

Neon

H 18 x W 85 cm

Government Art Collection

Hope
© Corbenic Poetry Path. Photo credit: Corbenic Poetry Path

Hope 2017

Geza Sallai (b.1967)

Cast bronze & stainless steel

H 147 x W 84 x D 10 cm

Corbenic Poetry Path

Peace
© the artist. Photo credit: Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture

Peace 2017

Margaret Preston (b.1958)

Acrylic, metal, wood, LEDs, spent rifle cartridges & blackboard paint

H 212 x W 49.4 x D 51 cm

Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture