This piece was inspired when a friend of mine became pregnant, and my thoughts turned to the responsibility and power inherent in mothers. Birthing and raising a child is a beautiful, intricate experience connected to and affecting the larger world. It is an opportunity to inspire a relationship between our children and the greater living web that we belong to.
A reduction woodcut essentially recycles a single piece of wood, carving for the first layer, printing, then carving on the same block for the next color, printing… The process takes more careful planning both with the image and the printing process, and reduces the number of prints that can be made. In this piece I explore the transitory and transformative space we enter in moments of growth. Sometimes viewers speak of death, and sometimes of birth; these two experiences are just different directions through the same door and so not mutually exclusive. The birds, soft colors, and gentle lines evoke a sense of peace and possibility, keeping away from the fear often experienced in such moments. In this way, even the viewer who sees death will also see it as a type of birth, a natural and reverent time.
My first large-format woodcut, this piece exploded with the power of women, and the struggle for independence that has defined our history. Though not necessarily birth art, the woman shows the inner strength that allows a woman to give birth. This same strength empowers her to take hold of her own destiny, and bring her into a greater connection with the natural cycles and energies of the world around her.
All pieces are woodcuts, a process in which I gradually carve away the negative space in the image. When finished, the wood resembles a large stamp upon which I roll a thin layer of ink. Pressure is used to transfer the ink to paper (sometimes a press, often my own hands and baren). The process leaves an embossed, black and white image.
I graduated from UNC-CH’s Studio Art program in 2009, and am planning on receiving an MFA in Printmaking as a first step in becoming a college professor. Much of my time is spent exploring the great outdoors, which is the focus and source of my inspiration.