Climbing Fiber & Xylem

I am particularly interested in using materials readily available such as handmade papers from Eastern civilizations with a hand printing method, pigmented beeswax paints and traditional printmaking papers. The imagery produced by these materials is organic and random, much like the natural world. I know there are rules to the scientific method that is designed to produce the same result over and over again. My prints do the opposite, producing similar but different results each time using the same method and materials. Inspiration comes from interest in neuroscientist Oliver Sacks books about hallucinations. Images from radiology can be quite beautiful but hard to read.

Climbing fibers are part of the cerebellum of the brain and contribute to coordination, precision, and accurate timing of bodily movement. Xylem is the name of the cells in plants that are used in capillary action. My favorite science fair exhibit has always been the one where a child places a stalk of celery in a container with water and colorful food dye. The best ones are made with red to emulate blood flow upwards through the plant. Lines produced by capillary action remind me of what happens in the brain when climbing fibers are activated. These fibers go to all parts of the brain and are entwined like ivy covering a building. Patterns produced by my method of printing create maps of an interior life, at a particular moment in time. Working on these prints has the effect of reducing conscious thought in my brain. The series is both conceptual art and process art. Concept is planning shape, tool to use then making the pieces. Process is purity of making the object and not making decisions about the object while making it.

Shiny Object

Shiny Object monoprints are made using paper for a matrix with pigmented beeswax as ink. The hand made papers I cut my matrices from have many variations on each sheet. These variations are considered to be part of the theme of the series. Possibilities for random changes in course of making these prints are infinite, much like the changes in the Death Star over the course of the Star Wars science-fiction franchise of films. Some echo of pattern and shape of each paper plate will always be present in each print of the series. The special effects from ultra-concentrated metallic paints allow a secondary halo color to appear while printing. These halos emanate from the metallic lines and solid areas and remind me of barbed wire encircling a globe struggling to survive.

The Death Star in the STAR WARS science-fiction franchise created by George Lucas was the Empire’s ultimate weapon: a moon-sized space station with the ability to destroy an entire planet. But the Emperor and Imperial officers like Grand Moff Tarkin underestimated the tenacity of the Rebel Alliance, who refused to bow to this technological terror…