Sunday, June 26, 2016

A Growing Cattle Herd













Cattle Herd. 
Etching, Chine-Collé.
60cm x 90cm. 2016.

A few months ago a made two plates with cattle to print on one of my pieces about deforestation, since the flourishing beef production in the Paraguayan Chaco is a major driver in the cutting of the forests. I tried to figure out a way how to create an impression of the white Brahman herds that are so common out there. I decided to do a shallow open bite, which bites away a whole open area of the plate leaving a deeper edge around the outlines where the ink catches. I loved the way the plates printed and overlapped creating the impression of movement. I made one print with just a herd. When I finished it and put it on the wall, I liked what a saw, but the piece was way too small.

As a summer project (among other things) I decided to print this piece on a larger scale, initially starting with four paper panels. Six weeks later, the piece has grown to eight panels by now and might merge with another six panel piece. At some point my goal was to reach 800 cows to represent the 800 animals that are being slaughtered at the beef processing plant every day in my home community, largely for export. I didn't like the form of the herd at that stage and it wasn't working visually, so I scrapped that idea and kept printing. Six weeks later, I'm at over 1200 cows, having printed the plates more than fifty times already. I usually print one to three plates a day and then let the ink dry over night while working on other pieces. I'm not quite sure yet how I'll display this piece, but it'll probably be some kind of scroll or panel. I think I'm going to print some parts of this print a lot denser and then I'll let it rest to see where other projects take me.

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