reduction project

In the spring of 2015 I came across documentary on Louise Bourgeois' life and work that inspired my Notes to Self series. One of the great things she said in that film was about her father's mistress and the adultery that changed her family life growing up. Explaining how it took her so long to come to terms with her anger towards that woman, Bourgeois says "She turned me into a wild beast! I don't say that I'm a wild beast all the time, but I'm a wild beast some of the time." I loved that assertion, and how aggressive it is, and how the caveat is still underlining this feral quality she feels in herself. I know a lot of women who are wild beasts some of the time, and I wanted to make this to celebrate them. 


This was only the second reduction print I've ever done. After starting slow with Ollie and Ben's wedding present on rubber, I dove straight in and made this one four times the size in a much less malleable medium and with much more challenging text! I regretted the serifs and cursive on the first letter almost as soon as I started carving, but I love how it ended up looking, so no regrets.

For the second layer, I used new brands of ink that I hadn't printed with before. Unfortunately, that meant that I underestimated the drying time. I printed 27 of the second layer and of those, 16 survived the carnage of the ink drying the stacked prints together. It was an incredibly frustrating learning experience.

The third layer was accent colors and Bourgeois' name, so carving it required a lot of erasing. But no sticking the pieces together this time. I blue-tacked them to the hostel room wall to let them all dry for a week.