22 April 2010

Words Can Never Hurt Me

Today I worked more on the background of the John Alexander & Thomas Roberts print. I began by adding another two overprintings of red from the same block I worked with yesterday, then I started working with a new block:


The words carved into this block are words that I found online. They are taken from letters and emails that were sent to the Episcopal Church Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003 when Gene Robinson, an openly gay priest, was elected bishop. Here is the block flipped so that you can read the words:


Gay people don't have a monopoly on being bullied. There's a lot of awareness of bullying in schools right now. The Phoebe Prince suicide, which is currently all over the news, actually took place about 10 miles from where I live. Bullying in the public sphere is rampant, with news analysts dissing each other from one network to another and politicians demonizing their opponents. A person can be bullied for practically anything -- being fat, being thin, being smart, being dumb.

But the righteous indignation and vitriol that gay people endure has a particular flavor, as it's often accompanied by references to religion, especially Christianity. Both historically and in present-day America, it is the church that has most loudly condemned homosexuality. And it was the church that officiated over the trial and punishment of John Alexander and Thomas Roberts.

Here's the result of today's printing session:



Anita Thomhave Simonsen said...

Hi Annie !

I really find this print important and it looks so good technically too...I like the use of the old letters on the link side of the couple...together with the new letters they are connecting past and present....and being bullied is an awfull thing....in my country foreign people have a hard time especially refugees who need care and protection are being shamed in public, in the news and and so....for not wanting to integrate into our society...but they are giving very few chances and only people with good health and a lot of courage and possibilies can integrate easily....our government only want those who won´t cost any money.....and many refugees are very vulnerable and need to be taken in consideration....and these negative attitudes towards foreigners and especially refugges are increased these last years....and that make me ashamed of being danish...not that proud anymore....

Jane said...

Dear Annie,

This is a very random question, but I know you'll have the answer as I follow your blog, admire your work, and particularly your dexterity with Moku Hanga. It's about the registration jig. I've just made one and the question i have is - does the position of the drawing/hanshita on each block (for a multiblock image) have to be in exactly the same place on the wood in order to register with the kento on the jig (made with masking tape)? Is that a daft question, i feel I'm missing some essential instruction somewhere. Any guidance you can give me would be gratefully received.

Many thanks,


Annie B said...

Anita, thanks so much for what you wrote. Here too immigrants, especially from Mexico and Central America, are blamed for stealing jobs, for absorbing government money, for somehow diluting our culture. Odd that we're all so afraid of each other when it's so obvious that we're all the same.

Annie B said...

Hi Jane. Never a random question when it comes to woodblock! Yes, the drawing has to be in the exact same position on the wood for each plate. You can use the jig itself to paste each hanshita into position on a fresh block. Or if you're working with a design that has a keyblock you can carve the keyblock and then take an impression using the jig with some oily-style ink. Put a fresh block in the jig and place the impression you just took into the jig kento, rubbing down the not-yet-dry ink onto the block with a baren to transfer it to the new block. Hope that makes sense...

Debra James Percival said...

Your work is amazing!

MaRegina said...

always a good print even with all questions!

Anonymous said...

Dear Annie,

Makes perfect sense now! Huge thanks and huge thanks for sharing your lovely prints with us. I love the Cloud of Unknowing, that creamy wood, the delicate carving, and a superb print.