In Partnership with Cambridge College, 2021
During the summer and fall of 2020, when I was wearied by an isolating quarantine, I felt even more exhausted by an assertive, narrow-minded group of noisy right-wing extremists. To dispute their reactionary ideas, I joined a Black Lives Matter protest. I supported groups working to overcome some of the terrible problems brought on by intolerance. I read books and essays by perceptive historians and observers. I took sad notice that the Covid 19 mortality rate was particularly hard on people of color and indigenous populations.
I was so deeply disturbed that I looked to representatives of affected communities and others to see how they kept going. For energy, hope, and balance, I maintained a journal that included the thoughts of poets, politicians, activists, and writers whom I admire. I then began a series of art works stimulated by insights that might help others, too, during this particularly sad time.
I utilized two historical photographic processes, cyanotype (or blue-printing) and Van Dyke brown printing. I mixed chemicals with water, brushed them onto rag printmaking paper, laid objects such as flowers, clear acetate with applied letters, and/or transparent negatives and positives on top of the coating. The unit was placed in the sun for a while, and a reversed image was developed afterwards. The techniques, which are almost 200 years old and which I have been using for over forty years, look old and impart a sense of time and transformation. I hope they remind us that things do change.