Sunday, November 22, 2015

Collected thoughts

I have two solo shows coming up next summer, and I've slowly been gathering thoughts and trying to make connections between them as to how they will take form in my work. No resolutions yet, but what I'm considering, in no particular order:

1) Last month the school I teach at was on lockdown for almost two hours due to an active shooter threat. We were slowly evacuated room-by-room. As I was lying on the floor, staring at the ceiling tiles, the responsibility of keeping 35 lives from getting shot descended on me. Thankfully, no one was hurt, all students remained safe, threat was neutralized. But I can't shake that feeling.

2) Saw Sophie Calle speak last week. Her talk can be summed up in this statement she made towards the end, "Absence is motivation."

3) Refugee crisis in Syria, and how it is creating its own absence. Evidence suggests the crisis is directly related to global warming.

4) Does global warming cause other violence, albeit, possibly, indirectly? Is there a link between school violence and global warming? Perhaps in the form of anxiety and poverty?

5) Viewing art leads to an increase in empathy.

6) Shipwrecks, the economy, global exchange.

7) I think violence in any form indicates a lack of connection, to other people, to a community, to nature, to spirituality.

8) How can an artist create connection, or interconnection, between people?

9) One form of connection is stories, but does that build a deep enough connection? Could some form of social practice interaction build on stories to create connections?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

New Print and collaboration about Pluto!

As a usual gap in blogging indicates, a whirlwind of activities happened. I need to sit down and really do a couple of posts about the time at Banff, but because it was just SO MUCH I need to process a bit.

So to get back into the rhythm of blogging, I'm writing today about my recently finished print for the Pluto Print Exchange that Mandy organized. Robert and I ended up collaborating on our piece, and we didn't end up killing each other! (I find it odd that as frequently as I collaborate with others - Marie, Mary, Anne - this was my first time with my husband).

With all the new images of Pluto from New Horizons, I started looking at images of Pluto from mythology, particularly in printed matter. Robert and I both ended up being drawn to this image by Hendrick Goltzius.

Our original intent was to combine the historic and the most recent scientific, perhaps in a sort of like Vitruvian Man. However, the idea developed through our love and respect for papercutting to incorporate that technique. We were also inspired by Allison Smith's Pitcher Collection, and how isolating an image from context makes it both more playful and yet gives it a certain presence.

Using some of the leftover Sekishu from my Small Plates residency (thanks SFCB!) we digitally printed (with archival inks) some images of Pluto's surface. I carved a block based on Goltzius's Pluto (above, inked) which was then printed onto the Sekishu.

The prints were then cut out of the Sekishu.

(I have to confess, the whole time I was cutting these, I kept thinking about this post from The Toast, and the line, GET THIS ARSE.)

Finally, the cut out images were chine colle'd to Rives BFK.

Click on the images for larger views.

The print needs to be properly documented, still. Next spring, the entire portfolio will be exhibited at UArts in the Printmaking Gallery. Artists from Oakland (me), Seattle, Iowa, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia participated. I've yet to see the rest of the portfolio, but have heard good things about the other pieces - trying to be patient but very excited!