Lesley Dill is creating a vivacious and intense “Word Ballroom” installation in the main gallery of the Arthur Roger Gallery on Julia Street. The gallery will be occupied by “Word Queens” complete with dresses and crowns that inhabit what the artist terms a “Space of Language.”
Because the exhibition is in New Orleans, Dill is consciously making the gallery space into a “Word Party” with the entire viewing area including the ceiling and walls bedecked with “Word Garlands” and “Suspended Crowns.”
Each of Dill’s seven “Word Queens” is made of either copper letters or wrapped wire words. She also employs white painted metal words as well as silver and black ones. Two of the Queens are composed of random letters and the rest are made of words from the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Salvador Espriu, Neruda and Tom Sleigh. The language of Dill’s pieces is difficult to read because of the dense layering process in the making of each dress. As a result, the dresses and personas represent, in the artist’s words, the “inner thought language” with which we clothe ourselves.
Each of Dill’s female figures is a Queen – the intent being to give dignity and metaphorical importance to this gender. The suspended crowns represent the head energy that we have rising up off us as human beings. The gowns of metal are also intended as “Word Armor” conveying strength as well as protection.