studio catherine griffiths


She’s Got Legs

From single letters to catch phrases, makers are using text to tell emotive stories, says Lee Suckling.


The Trestle Leg Series (right), which was designed in 2009 by Catherine Griffiths, and built in 2012, is featured on eight sequential columns beneath the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The work was commissioned by the New Zealand Transport Agency. Griffiths took selected works by Kiwi writers and poets such as Janet Frame and Bruce Mason, and a korero by a local Maori chief, and rendered them onto the steel structures by painting with the aid of a template. “The extracts of prose wrap around
two faces, while the poetry reaches around the four faces of the tapered steel columns,” says Griffiths. “The shape and form of each requires the reader to move with the work, spend time with the words, the sounds they make, meanings that are formed.” After the project had begun, Griffiths learned the particular set of columns on which the words would be placed was known as the “eastern trestle legs of the west box girder. [It’s] a mouthful of words, hence the title of the work,” she says.


Lee Suckling / Urbis, issue 72

*the commission was via Boffa Miskell, and the selection of writings was made by the project team: read more about The Trestle Leg Series here


04 writing & critique


An installation on an installation on an installation ...
Artist statement, »catherine griffiths : SOLO IN [ ] SPACE« A documentation, Pocca, CHINA
September 2021

Porto Design Summer School 2017
Looking back on the fifth edition
April 2018

Notes from ‘Designing the perfect photobook’
A short talk as part of a panel discussion, PhotobookNZ
March 2016

A meditation
Sir Ian Athfield, 1940 — 2015
by Catherine Griffiths
Architectural Centre, NZ
April 2015

The Design Kids interview
The Design Kids, Jul 2015

A Playlist : CG >> CG
by Catherine Griffiths
DPAG Late Breakfast Show, NZ, Aug 2014

Body, Mind, Somehow: The Text Art of Catherine Griffiths
by Gregory O’Brien
Art New Zealand #150, NZ, 2014

Nothing in Mind
by Chloe Geoghegan
typ gr ph c, Aug 2014

typ gr ph c in Strips Club
by Catherine Griffiths
Strips Club journal, Mar 2014

In the Neighbourhood
by Catherine Griffiths
Desktop #294, Australia, 2013

Interview by Heath Killen
Desktop #294, Australia, 2013

FF ThreeSix
by Catherine Griffiths
Typographica, Mar 2013

A note on the D-card
by Catherine Griffiths
Apr 2013

Shes Got Legs
by Lee Suckling
Urbis, NZ, Jan 2013

Truly, No Idea
by Catherine Griffiths
for Flash Forward, Desktop, Australia, Nov 2012

Look for the purple lining
by Catherine Griffiths
Eye Blog, UK, Mar 2012

The Big Idea, NZ, Jun 2011

Shots in the air
by Catherine Griffiths
Eye Blog, UK, Jan 2011

John & Eye
by Catherine Griffiths
ProDesign 110, NZ, Jan 2011

Quite a Blast
by Catherine Griffiths
ProDesign, NZ, Jan 2011

Inner-City Modality
by Mercedes Vicente
ProDesign, NZ, Aug 2010

Beautiful World of Typography
by Catherine Griffiths
excerpt from a talk, Govett-Brewster Gallery, NZ, Jun 2009

For the record
by Catherine Griffiths
Introduction to TypeSHED11, NZ, Feb 2009

Locating Our Feet
by Catherine Griffiths
Threaded, NZ, Oct 2008

Notes on Feijoa
by Catherine Griffiths
ProDesign, NZ, Apr 2007

Life in Italics
by Helen Walters
Print, New York, Sep-Oct 2006

Writing by Types
by Justine Clark
Artichoke, Australia, Apr 2003

She’s Got Legs

by Lee Suckling

Urbis, issue 72

related links

The Trestle Leg Series


catherine griffiths © 2011 / all rights reserved / contact / twitter / facebook / instagram /