Friday, August 12, 2011
From Journal to Print
So last year Laura and I each made a journal for our neighborhood project, and we began research and image gathering. We've met nearly every two weeks for the past year to eat dinner at one of our houses and then retreat to the studio and work for several hours on whatever phase of the project we were on. Our journals have been repositories of the images and ideas we've incorporated into our prints and now our edition of books.
Below are two of my journal pages that gave rise to images on the print. One shows my sketches of bats that lived in the palmetto palms in our yard, a fun feature of our lives, as we hunted for the dead baby bats that frequently fell from the tree and conducted elaborate funerals for them. Bats were a feature of the neighborhood as they swooped around every evening scooping up bugs while we played Kick the Can in the street until the street lights came on.
The page shown below is where Laura and I worked on the idea of the religious syncretism that was very present in the amalgamation of French Catholicism and African Voudou in the neighborhood. This close connection of two different cultural and religious strains made for an interesting set of rituals and processions and ceremonies. On the page below, I used a general map of the neighborhood to construct an approximation of a voudou veve, which ended up a rubber stamp cut incorporated into the larger woodcut (lower right area, in brown). On the same page, Laura reflected on my sketch of a Catholic Virgin Mary statue that was treated ritually much in the same way the Voudou Erzulie Frieda was. We several times wrote in each other's journals as we developed our thinking.
We have titled our series (the large prints and the edition of books) Faubourg nan Main Bon Dieu, which means Neighborhood in the Hands of the Good God. In another posting I will show the finished books and Laura's big print.