Monday, May 24, 2010

Its PKAP season again...

Its PKAP season again...but unfortunately I will be back in ND most of the summer following their blogs as I work in the Graduate School and spend countless hours in the art studios. For those of you who have followed the project in the past, Bill Caraher has started the PKAP blog aggregator which condenses all the associated PKAP blogs into one handy-dandy little site.

While I feel completely spoiled for having gotten to go to Cyprus last year, and know that this is a very important summer for my MFA program here, I cannot help but to be a little sad at not going this year. While this season is not the same as last year (museum work vs. field work...from what I understand), I will miss the the quaintness of Larnaca, the historic streets, the bustling beaches, the Petrou Brothers apartments, Kalifatzia's haloumi sandwiches, Shark jokes, the community of the team, and of course the long hours of work in the sun.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Spring Semester Van Dyke Prints II

This is the second half of the initial suite (i am planning on doing a few more today for my summer work). I've also learned there is a way to make these more permanent by using a gold toning. The unfortunate part of this process is that it doesnt hang around long...2-15 years...perhaps more if you keep them in a light safe box in a drawer in a dark basement.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Spring Semester Van Dyke Prints

One of the things I had hoped to do during my degree at UND was to learn some of the alternative photo processes. For those who may not know, these are some of the very first experimental processes that have hung around in the fine art world. Many of them are actually making a comeback in reaction to the precision of the digital revolution. For the final I made a small suite of 15 images that I had shot in Cyprus during the PKAP residency. I was enamored and overtaken with nostalgia and old world romance by the historical doors, architecture and quaint streets. I've attempted to print these through solar plate and digitally but was just unhappy with both. While the images may look great, it takes the right process to bring them out. The images are well suited for this process to create that nostalgic feel. Many, somewhat uncharacteristically, capture an amazing amount of detail in a range of warm brown tones. I will post the remainder of the suite tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

More New Prints From This Spring

Its been a busy spring but I have managed to create several prints. This top image is the most recent and draws connections in both theme and aesthetic to the Religion as a Chain of Memory series. This print takes an image of my mother and places it over Medieval manuscript image of a family tree. Along side it is another Medieval image of the annunciation to Mary. My hope is to suggest similar things to those prints of my father, but without using text.

The next image is a reworking from another failed attempt. I like the idea, but both this and the previous rendering have failed to live up to the idea for me so I have begun again to create this print. The image on the right is John the Baptist from the Isenheim Altar piece. In it, he points to Christ on the cross. In place of the crucifixion, I have instead replaced it with consumer logos that are meant to correspond to the four central parts of the Easter Vigil (roughly the services of Light, Word, Baptism, and the Eucharist). All of which hover over the text of John 1 in Latin.

The last print is just a little experiment from both my printmaking and alternative processes photo class (those images to come later this week). It takes a lithograph of a cropped Medieval manuscript drawing of the Ascension and places it over wonderful cyanotype image of a late summer Iowa sky.

New Prints From this Spring

It has been a long time since I've posted any artwork...or much of anything. Ive continued on in this series of Contested Space embossings. The first included here is the Missouri River which is contested on not only water rights, damming, flow, and native lands, it also divides the Dakota's geographically into East and West river. In each state, the river divides its culture and its topography.

The second print also portrays a contested space...that of Mount Rushmore. The site is sacred not only to good patriotic American's, it is also a sacred site to the Native Americans. A few years ago, when I started thinking about sacred space, Mount Rushmore was foremost in my mind. I had never thought about it as a Native sacred space. But what happens when a colonialist people literally reshape a holy mountain in homage to their rule and build a tourist attraction upon a sacred site? It becomes a contested site.

This print took several tries to get it where it is today. The first with simple red thread conveyed the contested nature, but in the end seemed simply too anti-American. In the second, I added beading to connote the Native role in the contest over this place. Here I ran the beading along the heads to highlight the aspect of the landscape itself but at the expense of highlighting the contest. The third option, the one Ive ended with returns to the X's but with beading. Not only do the X's symbolize the contest over place, they also draw more closely from Native artwork where the 4 directional colors (as I have used) are placed in a vertical and horizontal axis. I simply have turned it on its side to make the X.

While I've not completed all the prints in this series, I expect it to be editioned in 5.

More prints and photos to come shortly from this semester.