Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Are You There?

Are You There?
Double Plate Etching, Chine-Collé.
30cm x 30cm. 2015. 

What happens after death? That eternal question will probably never get answered, and yet, I keep asking it. As part of the series in which I grieve the sudden loss of my father, I made another piece. (I'm also working on other pieces at the moment, but I'm not quite finished with this series yet).
This piece is a combination of two earlier prints from last semester. In a fluke experiment in which I combined two unfinished pieces a few months ago, I got an interesting proof, which I discarded as 'not what I wanted' at the time. After I had considerably altered both plates, I looked back at the proof and thought it was one of the most interesting pieces, so I decided to recreate a similar image to that lost proof. And here it is. This is a two plate print, printed on a warm toned Asian paper (Honen). One plate is black with the figures and the washes in the background. The second plate is a fine line pattern that I printed on top of the black in a lighter grey. (The lines are sitting raised on top of the black, which unfortunately isn't really visible in the photograph). The subtle lines and patterns are a kind of trace or presence that permeates everything, the body and the spirit. I find it hard to put into words what I am trying to portray in this piece, because I've worked more intuitively than I usually do. I'm experimenting with two different kinds of visual language (the washes or larger solid areas with photographic work, and the hand-drawn patterns and line work) and overlap both of them. This is my first tentative approach of layering imagery, which I find quite difficult to do, but which I've also wanted to try for a long time already, because layering images is so inherently part of printmaking. I like it and I hope it'll lend itself to my future work.

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