14 January 2009

Woodblock Graffiti

In Of Plimouth Plantation William Bradford gives four reasons why the Separatists wanted to leave Holland and make the treacherous journey to America:
  1. Financial - they saw little room for improvement in their employment situation in Holland
  2. Security - they were afraid that Holland and Spain would soon be at war
  3. Evangelism - their move would provide an opportunity for propagation of their faith
  4. For the sake of the children - they were worried that their children were becoming more Dutch than English and that they were being tempted into sinful behaviors.


These are the causes that still motivate immigrants across the globe. I was particularly struck with the incentive of moving so that one's children will have a better life. I have many friends who once they became parents uprooted themselves from favorite urban settings or paid more than they wanted to pay for a house just so they could live in a more highly-rated public school system.


In searching for a visual device that would suggest the temptations of youth, I settled on graffiti as a fast-read symbol for urban crime and youthful rebellion. Juxtaposing the Pilgrims into a modern setting is something I envisioned when I first thought about this series, so this print is a test of that concept.

The graffiti I referenced comes from the streets of Amsterdam. What it actually says isn't relevant to the print - it's just a tag (someone's name) as far as I can tell. It will also be further obscured in the next step. I did add a little crown symbol, as the poor Separatists were always fearing that James I was after them, which he often was.


Anonymous said...

Annie - I can't wait to see what you do next with this whole series. I'm loving them! And my cousin loved her Moon print. Thanks again!

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Moving along....love watching the progress, will they have buckles on their shoes? What is up with the buckles anyway.

Anita Thomhave Simonsen said...

well....i´m surprised by your use of graffiti but very positively....it´s great...

Annie B said...

Thanks for loving these prints, Jenn!
Diana, you bring up a good point re: the buckles. I especially remember seeing buckles on their HATS! What would that be used for -- changes in head size? Nope, no buckles for my pilgrims. Buckles are so 18th century.
Anita, I hope you weren't TOO surprised. I didn't mean to scare anybody :)