25 February 2007

"Melting" Final


11 x 16.5 inches (28 x 42 cm)
2 wood blocks, 11 impressions
echizen kozo paper

I finished this print over the weekend. It feels not quite right to me, not so much as to whether it's an attractive print or not, but I don't feel that I got to the crux of my own thoughts and feelings about climate change. I feel like I'm going to need to revisit the topic, perhaps many times. For now, it expresses the ambiguity I feel -- the sense that I can't quite grasp what's happening, that the places that are being affected are far-away places I'm not acquainted with, and the questions about what am I personally willing to sacrifice (not air travel!) to help avert the possible disaster we face. Artist/scientist Kris Shank's prior comment about jet contrails actually reflecting sunlight (helpful) as well as dumping tons of carbon for every trip (harmful) sums up beautifully the paradoxes and complexities of this mess we're in.

Ah well, let me show you how I got to the final. The yellow particles were done the same way as the others, with a stencil, as was the jet. But before I applied the black for the jet, I created the contrail with pure water on the block and white paint applied with a small brush and feathered out with a maru bake:

(gloves in a cold studio)

And here's a view of the multiples. Even prints I don't like look great in a group!



Kris Shanks said...

I'm in the middle of grading student exams and reading what they do (or don't) understand about the carbon cycle so the topic is particularly relevant for me tonight. (If any of them are listening in, the carbon in the CO2 you breath out comes from your food, not the atmosphere). It's clearly a difficult topic to wrap one's brain around.

I really like the melting edge and the jet contrail in your print. Somehow the molecule shapes aren't threatening enough. But maybe that's the point as well - it's hard to be worried about something you can't even see.

Beth Zentzis said...

I've been thinking too about what our art can do to impact or affect issues as large as this one.

I've read some of the book, Taking the Leap, which you mentioned in an earlier post. One of the things it mentions that I'm addressing is the idea of creating a body of work based on a consistent theme. I have issues that are on my front burner, so to speak, and although global warming is one of them, I have a different one in mind to address first, visually. It seems to me that the issue of global warming deserves consideration over and over again, as you mentioned you might do. Surely there are several artists who would be interested to put their visual voices in tandem, to make an even greater statement. Just a thought.

This print, a poignant, individual perspective and facet of the larger problem, doesn't seem trivial to me. How many puzzle pieces can be embraced with one print, anyway? So many things to consider. In my view, this perspective is profoundly valid in that it portrays the point of view of the human seeing, contributing, yet being completely detached from the consequences of the warming of our beloved Gaia, in one moment of time. This concept of time and our experience inside of it seems critical too. The rate of changes accelerated slowly enough that an individual could not actually see a physical manifestation of warming for quite some time. But now... here is Greenland. And superimposed upon that sight is the quintessential symbol of contemporary fast-paced society - an intercontinental flight with its beautiful vapor trails streaming behind, deceptively simple in appearance, yet a thread in a larger fabric of destruction.

Well done.

Diane Cutter said...

A thoroughly modern concept well done. Your working of the contrail is inspired... Thanks for showing us how you did it.

Andy English said...

I absolutely recognise the feeling that a print isn't exactly how you intended in that it doesn't match the image "in your head" or it doesn't quite communicate the idea one intended.

As an observer, it seems a lovely print and, particularly with the benefit of following your posts, each element gives cause for thought. his issue isn't going to go away and ,no matter how insignificant individual gestures may seem, we are all going to make some sacrifice. I do this not particularly for my benefit but for that of my children's generation and those that will follow them. The landscape of southern England is slowly changing as some species of tree find it difficult to survive dry spells. This, however, is nothing compared to the prospect of prolonged drought or sea level change in some parts of the world. Turn off lights, switch monitors off, turn down the heating and put another sweater on. Once again, Annie confronts a crucial issue.

Julio Rodriguez said...

Annie, your work is fantastic , I truly enjoy you letting us into your artistic world...Thank You !

Terry said...

i have enjoyed reading about the process of this print and it's conceptualization. the print is beautiful and i like the softness of the contrail contrasting with the blocks of ice.

wonderful blog!