Get Stuck in Trees

2016. Monoprint series. Letterpress and solvent transfer on paper. Special thanks to Marianne Dages. Developed at Penland Schoolof Crafts. 12.5 x 19 in and 22.5 x 30 in.

Much of my research and making process involves explorations into code, capture, sequencing, and imaging. Included in this practice is an experimental approach to printmaking and typesetting techniques. I began the series, Get Stuck in Trees, at a workshop in 2016 at Penland School of Crafts. It is a visual and textual poetry monoprint series that makes direct use of found material and embodies its trace to land and language. The series explores the idea of text as a found object, and the relationship of text to objects in the world. I assembled words into a poem from fragments of a printed article on the environment. Printed using letterpress, I’ve preserved some of the pauses and grammatical structure—a trace of physicality from the original article text setting. The original paste-up of the assembled poem is manipulated in scale and position, and then combined with collected plants on the bed of a scanner—to create a digital capture of their physical mash-up. These two layers, digital capture and letterpress print, are merged into the series through solvent transfer, which brings in a chance operation of imaging, and the pressure and energy of drawing.

The series is a consideration of various forms of mark-making and gesture, of language, expression, and the physical—in connection to mechanical, reproducible, and handmade processes in printing and drawing. I specifically enjoy the unique tension between what is controllable and what is not—the unknown results of imaging through scanning and solvent transfer in contrast to the planned process of letterpress composition.Throughout the series I intentionally play with generating and restraining the surface to create a multi-tonal visual exploration—some prints are dense with words and images at full volume, and others sparse, as if whispering.