In order to explain my process, first I will give a little background information. The image I printed was inspired from the 8th edition of the "Museum In Trust" series,– an installation-painting project. This intaglio print shares the same name as the exhibition titled, "Mysterious Island" and considers the conjunction of image making and musical notation. Contemporary physics, anthropology, and linguistics demonstrate that we live in a participatory universe and the notion of people as casual observers is illusory. The very act of creating a landscape can soon find itself occupying the space it seeks to frame. The dilemma this paradox poses has revealed a relationship between the image and the methods used to record it. Musical notations, another aspect of creating a record or a document, was explored sympathetically with the images to speak of place.
While working with musical notations, I came across some recent scientific studies that generated sound clips out of the data from the universe revealing music coming from our own solar system! Astrophysicists have also proven that the Earth moves to the rhythm of the Sun and this year the European Space Agency announced that the “Earth’s magnetic field, atmosphere, and even voltages induced on ocean cables, are all taking part in a cosmic sing-along.”
Now my next challenge was how to translate all of this into a new medium for me,– printmaking. At first I first tried exposing a print plate from my initial image rendering but it was accidently reversed revealing a positive view. This ended up not being a loss however, because looking at the image on the plate, I was immediately reminded of the Japanese print styles of the Ukiyo-E or the 'floating world'. This floating world was a place that would vanish in the mist. I thought it would be a great starting place to try and capture the mysterious nature of my island landscape.
As my work at times references history and documents, Tim McDowell, our master printer, suggested a slight drop of color wash on the top as well as the bottom of the print. This nod to a time honored approach in printmaking images of the landscape was a great suggestion and it also reminded me of the subtlety of a hand colored photo. Tim inked and wiped down two printing plates with slight washes of color in a very tedious process that ultimately rendered a 4 color image! Needless to say, his knowledge and expertise of the print process was phenomenal.
This intensive week was an amazing experience for a couple of reasons. Diverse people and artists with diverse backgrounds came together at Connecticut College to produce an amazing suite of prints but also, a great connection was made and a wonderful sharing occurred. The result of the "Pull" portfolio project was a unique effort of teamwork that ended up producing a highlight of individual talents.