Transliteration Screenprint detail ©MSB


In the Transliteration, series, Stawarska uses text from the
International Phonetic Alphabet (a Latin based system that standardises the representation of the sound of language across languages) and graphic elements such as a grid and gradations of lines to capture the ephemeral quality of sound and intimacy of a conversation.

Like in Mother Tongue, the marks on black paper and typographical arrangements engage the viewers on a visual level but the phonetic text obstructs the reading process. The meaning is coded. The viewer is led to look for familiar signs in the text but to break the code they must sound out the signs and listen to their own voice to decode the narrative.

Any person able to read phonetics could still pronounce the words correctly without necessarily understanding their meaning. This works plays on the idea of reading as a dual process that involves reading a text on a semantic level, or reading words and signs as visual objects. In both cases, the piece creates a tension between inclusion and exclusion as one experiences the intimacy of a conversation that is never fully revealed.

Transliteration III; Screenprint detail ©MSB
Transliteration III; Screenprint ©MSB
Transliteration I; Screenprint detail ©MSB


Sounds Like Her, Nottingham New Art Exchange 2017
Wonder Rooms – Manchester Text Festival, Bury Art Gallery, UK 2011
Horyzont MTG PrintArt Kraków – Katowice 2012, Rondo Sztuki, Katowice, Poland
16th Space International Print Biennial, OCI Museum, Seoul, South Korea 2011
Guanlan International Print Biennial, Shenzhen, China 2013