Archive for March, 2008

Commissioned Collaboration

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Lyn Bishop This month I delivered a special commission to new patrons. The work, Tides of Life, is a collaboration between collector and artist, with the collector providing basic materials and initial inspiration for the direction of the work. Together with original photographs from both the collector and my own collection, I created an image that speaks to the meaning of the Meoto-iwa, or Wedded Rocks of Futamigaura, and celebrates long-lasting love.

The two rocks of Meoto-iwa are considered male and female, and are named Izanagi and Izanami and represent the primal couple in Japanese traditional history. According to legend, it is from this couple that all the Japanese islands were formed.

The rocks are also deemed husband and wife, and are joined in matrimony by sacred ropes called shimenawa, made from braided rice stalks. The ropes weigh almost a tonne alone, and are replaced yearly in a special ceremony.

Below are photographs documenting the creative process. The work is 23”x43” and printed on hand prepared luminescent paper. This was my first large print using the new Golden Digital Grounds (Clear Gloss).

How Fast Your World Is Changing

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

On Friday night (March 21st, 2008) the exhibit How Fast Your World Is Changing opened at Ampersand International Arts, 1001 Tennessee Street, in San Francisco. The opening reception was a lively event showcasing the work of Harrell Fletcher, Christine Hill, Hope Hilton, Jessica James Lansdon, Jennifer Delos Reyes and Markuz Wernli-Saito.

In contrast to most of the gallery openings I’ve been to lately, this exhibit featured work that directly requested the viewers to take an active role in the work. It was less about gazing and more about participating, and as such, blurred the boundaries of a traditional art viewing experience. Curator Lori Gordon sets up opportunities that intentionally deviate from the viewers expected experience.

Of all the interesting work presented, there were three pieces that I found myself continuing to think about: Hope Hilton’s project Walk with Me, Jennifer Delos Reyes’s piece Choral Society (for Lori Gordon), and Markus Wernli-Saito’s project Returning the Negatives. Each one of these works asked me to engage in the experience in an almost invasive way, allowing me a participatory role in the outcome.


Test Driving Golden’s New Digital Grounds

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

There are several new Digital Grounds from Golden that have hit the market, allowing artists to create printable surfaces from a variety of alternative substrates. I’ve recently had the opportunity to test them before public release and am excited by the results.

For several years I’ve been experimenting with alternative surfaces for digital printmaking. While almost any porous surface can be used as a substrate for inkjet printing, unless it’s been precoated for digital media the results are often inferior, resulting in dull, blurry images. And for artists looking to print on non-traditional surfaces like acetate, mylar or metal, the ink has always pooled, run or smeared on the surface. Applying a precoat helps to control how the ink sits on the surface of the substrate, improving color density, and preventing running or smearing.

The InkAid precoat medium paved the way for artists wishing to explore alternative substrates for digital printing, offering a clear, white matte and pearlescent precoat product for use turning both traditional and non-traditional materials into inkjet friendly substrates. For several years I’ve been using the InkAid clear product as a precoat for what I call ‘Luminescent’ surfaces – papers prepared with a pearlescent acrylic – before printing. I’m absolutely in love with this technique, as the prints exhibit a subtle glow and change their appearance as the light changes throughout the day. Without the precoat, the ink would pool on the surface and run all over the place. With the precoat, the ink sits firmly in place and allows the underlying pearlescent to shimmer through the ink, creating jewel tones that are really beautiful.

Alternative Exhibition Space in Kyoto, Japan

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Honen-in Temple, Kyoto, JapanIn my husband’s hometown of Kyoto, Japan, there are many places to enjoy contemporary art around the ancient capital. However, tucked quietly on a side street on the east side of Tetsugaku-no-Michi (Philosophers’ Path) sits the lovely Honen-in, it’s temple halls set back into the the woods surrounded by it’s carefully raked gardens and moss covered thatched San-mon gate.

Honen-in is an unlikely place to view art, and as such, presents the viewer with a surprising contemplative space to see a wide range of exhibits. Two of it’s halls offer rotating exhibitions, usually a week in length, that present art that ranges from the traditional to the contemporary. Many artists have exhibited their work in this space, including my colleagues Janet Echelman and Markuz Wernli.