02 January 2013

Pastor Jeff - Final Print


Japanese-method woodblock (moku hanga)
Image size: 10.25" x 17" (26 x 43 cm)
Paper size: 12.5" x 19" (63.5 x 98 cm)
Paper: Nishinouchi
Made with 3 shina plywood blocks, 25 color layers
Edition: 10

This print is the start of a new series about gays and God. The series, which will be available as both individual prints and a small number of bound books, bears the working title God Is My Witness. Although this image, which is based on a video from a specific church in Indiana, is an extreme form of the message that God condemns homosexuals, this message can be heard in various strengths in churches (and temples and mosques) all over America on any given sabbath day. For a young gay person who wants to know God, the message can be devastating. And for a young person who is insecure or unloved or otherwise suggestible, this message can be heard as God's permission to do harm to others.

I start with this image because this is where it all begins. The social condemnation of homosexuality is almost always framed as a religious objection. Because of this, many gay people reject religion of any kind. Others look for spiritual paths that are more congruent with who they are, and still others, such as gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, remain faithful to the religion of their birth and work to change it from within. Below is a video clip from the PBS documentary about Bishop Robinson, Love Free or Die, which makes clear the price he has paid for his faithfulness. As Robinson says, “Sometimes when evil comes your way the only thing to do is to let it stop right there and absorb it.”


Celia Hart said...

This will work really well in your book.

Isn't it hard to not be a designer when doing child's handwriting! Your lettering is always beautifully carved (I cab understand the obsession!) but I wonder how the page would look with more random 'real' child's writing?

Annie B said...

You're right about that, Celia. It would have been more lively if I hadn't "set" the type so much. Hard to let go of the designer tendencies.

Annie B said...

Thinking some more, though... I sort of like the tight discipline of the straight lines for this particular piece. Strict and closely-supervised child's scrawl does seem appropriate in this context.

Celia Hart said...

Good point.

Anita Thomhave Simonsen said...

dear Annie !

I like it very much....and when reading your blogtext i do think about how true it is so normal to comdemn in a religious context....and that make you think about religion, which i did in my life too, that to be gay and be religious can not be connected...and how bad isn´t that...and wrong.....
I like the way you make the adult here be smiling all over his face, which make the scene all so clear and terrible at the same time, I think...
and the way you put a "me" to the child is so good....and for me it makes me identify with the child and the feeling of being overruled by authority....

congrats with the finished work of this woodblockprint.....

friendly thoughts from me


Annie B said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Anita. I'm so glad to hear that the print communicated so much to you.
xo Annie