Double-Plate Colour Etching
(photoetch, softground, sugar lift, spit bite), Chine-Colle.
30cm x30 cm. 2012.
Last Embrace is part of my Farewell series of prints. I tried to capture that last moment, the last merging of two worlds before a separation, the last touch between two people. It is such a precious moment and despite all the repeated farewells in my life, the parting never gets easier. The second figure in the piece is no one in particular (although I must admit it resembles Terry quite a bit...which has no particular meaning). I wanted it to be a generic figure to stand in for all the farewells in my life. I looked at various paintings and prints by Gustav Klimt and Edvard Munch prior to working on this piece. Both artists work with the visual representation of emotion a lot. I think Klimt rubbed off on me when I drew the robe with the tears. It undeniably resembles the patterned robes in Klimt's paintings. I added the rain cloud as a counter weight to the figures and as a parallel to the robe of tears. I've had surprisingly many goodbyes on rainy days which always adds to the sad, gloomy mood and the whole universe appears to grieve with me when I have to let go of someone. This piece has more empty space than most of my work, which I think reflects that emptyness I feel after a farewell. The trees obviously represent the different worlds we live in and the brief joining of worlds during the embrace.
I had to do a lot of playing around and testprinting before I got the rain the way I wanted it to look. I was aiming for a hazy (after having looked at a lot of spit bite prints by Norman Ackroyd) yet substantial rain shower and after multiple sugar lift etches that gave me the droplet patterns and many many spit bites I got some of the misty rain effect.