Appropriated Alphabets is a portfolio of twelve Alphabets created or sourced from Blake’s personal collection of printed ephemera. For Example, Appropriated Alphabets 2 is a bus ticket that Peter collected from a trip to Utah, visiting his daughter Liberty.In Appropriated Alphabets 5 he has playfully created a stencil of his favourite typeface ‘Stencil’. Appropriated Alphabets 3 is compiled from the first letters of various Font names, those that Peter found particularly interesting.
Blake has created several works based around the alphabet during his career, including his 1991 pop culture alphabet and his 2007 nursery collage alphabet. His interest in the alphabet can be linked to the exploration of childhood innocence and nostalgia that permeates his work. His interest in typography began whilst studying Art at Gravesend Technical College (1949-51); Blake was given a thorough grounding in a wide range of crafts including Roman lettering, hand lettering, typography and typesetting. This training has seeped into his work throughout his career with text often being an integral – or the only – element of a piece. The use of ‘found letters’ or commercial lettering in his work is something that Blake adopted in the 1950s; allying himself with decorators, sign painters and commercial artists rather than the fine art establishment: declaring himself a ‘pop’ artist.