AddThis SmartLayers

Ex-journalist celebrates shorthand in first art show

A former regional journalist-turned-artist has launched her first solo exhibition – a celebration of Teeline shorthand.

Since starting out at the Stroud News and Journal 25 years ago, Tracy Spiers has worked in both TV and radio at the BBC, as well as writing regular features for Cotswold Life.

She returned to higher education to study creative practices at Stroud College, and went on to take a diploma in fine art.

Mother-of-five Tracy, aged 43, said she had noticed that some of the shapes she was using in her art projects were similar to shorthand outlines.

“I just decided to marry the two things together. The exhibition is a celebration of my life as a reporter and also marks the launch of a new career as an artist,” she said.

“Shorthand is the sketch of a feature, just as a line drawing may be the sketch for a painting or mixed media composition.”

The Pitman's Wall piece celebrates the old Pitman style of shorthand

The show, entitled The Art of Shorthand, is being held at Kendrick Street Gallery in Stroud and will be in place until December 31.

Tracy said she hopes her work will get people talking about shorthand.

“In the age of modern technology, the traditional form of shorthand is dying out. Amazingly enough the first shorthand was written on wax tablets in 63BC. We no longer see the likes of Pitman, and although Teeline is still used, there are not many, apart from journalists and some secretaries, who use it on a regular basis,” she added.

“Yet young people are using shorthand all the time in the form of phone texts – that is the modern version of shorthand.”

All visitors will be able to leave a message in shorthand – whether they use Pitman, Teeline or text-speak.

This piece, entitled A Shorthand Landscape, uses Teeline outlines to depict a view



You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • December 21, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Wonder how many of those she can do per minute?

    Or is it two bursts of two minutes with a break in between?

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • December 21, 2012 at 10:39 am

    This is fantastic! Tracy, if you ever feel like taking this exhibition on a whirlwind international tour, I will be lining up in Australia! Good to know it’s not just me that finds Teeline slightly erotic.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)