Sunday, January 8, 2017

Global Matrix IV

Global Matrix IV is opening next week. Two of my prints are in this exhibition and a detail of one of them made it onto the invitation!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Charles Brand Printing Press

As of yesterday I am the very proud owner of a Charles Brand printing press. I bought it from a retired professor in Minnesota, who also sold me hundreds of cans of ink, printing blankets, and a nice 4" x 16" relief roller. The press bed is 32" x 52", which is perfect for me; it doesn't take up too much space, but I'm still able to print on oversized sheets of paper. The press has been in storage for a while and the roller got a bit rusty, so once I want to start using it I'll give the press a little makeover and it'll be good as new. I'm just so thrilled to have the equipment for my own future studio! Once I'm finished grad school, I'll have to start looking for a studio space to house all these treasures. This was one of those moments, where you just know in your gut it's the right thing to do.

We borrowed a big truck and rented a forklift for easy loading and transport. Thanks to all the people we have depended on to make this happen!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Soy Field

The Soy Field
Section of the work in progress.
Etching, digital satellite image. 

As part of the work for my thesis exhibition I've been working on another large print. The Soy Field consists of a grid of prints that as a whole form a large scale field of soy plants. I combine my own grid with satellite imagery of regions in the Paraguayan Chaco were soy plantations are cropping up. I again work with layers of imagery to portray a kind of take-over by the soy plants of the land. The scale of the whole piece, which will fill a 30 foot wall (approximately 10m), also gives a sense of that take-over through its overwhelming size. The form of the piece embodies the fragmentation of the land and resembles the grid of fields as seen from an aerial view. I add different layers of information about the issues of soy plantations in individual tiles, such as satellite imagery of soy fields in Paraguay that show the clearing of forests, patterns of plants that evoke the mechanization and engineering of agriculture, and red droplet patterns that portray the heavy application of toxins in monocultures. (See details below). An overlay of etched soy plant imagery pulls all the different tiles together to form one large field. 

Here a snippet from some of my research. The data I cite here is from a dossier called Con la Soja al Cuello by BASE, a Paraguayan Social Investigation publication, which in turn got their data from government documents and census data:
Aside from cattle ranching, soy is the second largest industry in Paraguay. 62% of agriculture land is used for soy, 6% for mandioc, beans, sweet potatoes and other produce for local consumption (the rest are other export crops). 96% of soybeans grown in PY are destined for export for livestock to maintain meat-security in western countries. The main slogan of agribusinesses is the modernization of agriculture and the eradication of world hunger. However, in my research I read again and again that modernized agriculture is by no means the better agriculture and world hunger is made worst from the displacement of peasant farmers who loose access to their own food production, many of whom end up in the slum belts of the cities. Peasants and small-scale farmers equal 1/3 of the world's population, but they make 2/3 of the world's food producers. 

The Soy Field.
Detail. 30cm x 30cm.
Etching, Digital Satellite Image. 

The Soy Field.
Detail. 30cm x 30cm.

The Soy Field.
Detail. 30cm x 30cm.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

New Work Website

My website needs an overhaul, but until I finish my MFA I fear I won't have time for that. In the meanwhile, here's a link to a UofAlberta online gallery where you can see my more recent work.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

2nd Place at 2nd New York International Miniature Print Exhibition

I won the 2nd Place at the Mini Print exhibition! How very exciting. You can read more about the exhibition and the piece in the previous blog post.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

2nd New York International Miniature Print Exhibition at Manhattan Graphics Center

From large to small. Aside from working on the large cattle herd print this summer, I also worked on several other pieces. Among others was a small series of miniature prints measuring 7.5cm x 7.5cm. I'm thrilled to announce that Migration I (see above) was selected by juror David Kiehl, Curator of Prints at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York for the 2nd New York International Miniature Print Exhibition at the Manhattan Graphics Center. 

Additional Information: 
This year, 222 artists from over 34 countries submitted work to the exhibition, bringing together a diverse representation of the print world today. Over 600 prints were reviewed by the juror. 123 will be exhibited. 

The 2nd New York International Miniature Print Exhibition will take place from November 4-December 18, 2016 at our printmaking studio’s gallery with an opening reception during IFPDA Print Week in New York, November 5, 2016.

There are two more pieces in the series that were not selected, but I want to post them here anyways. 

Migration II. 
Intaglio, Chine-Collé.
7.5cm x 7.5cm. 2016.

Migration III. 
Intaglio, Chine-Collé.
7.5cm x 7.5cm. 2016.

The Smoke Cloud (Section)

This piece was inspired by a satellite image from google earth that shows plumes of smoke rising from a cut down forest in the Paraguayan Chaco. To print the smoke cloud I etched three different smoke circles using first soap ground and then spit bite to get the different layers of delicately toned washes. I then cut the plates into wavy circles using tin snips and printed one or two a day slowly building up the layers and having to let them dry in the between. Working on this piece in conjunction with the cattle herd took me from April to September and eventually the two prints merged into one big piece (see previous post).

Cut copper plates that form the cloud when printed in layers.