Alates in Nuptial Flight

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3 colour woodcut on Zerkall
Paper size: 54 x 36 cm
Image size: 39 x 30 cm
Edition of 20

Artwork is sold unframed.

This is one of a pair of woodblock prints was produced in collaboration with South Atlantic Press, a print studio based in Woodstock, Cape Town. The works focus on paired down elements and metaphorical forms.

I was greatly inspired by the Kachō-ga tradition of Japanese Ukiyo-e prints which privileges the compositional power of blank spaces and a pairing of two elements – one fauna species with one flora species. Originally derived from the traditional Chinese genre of bird, fish, insect and flower painting, Kachō-ga has evolved in a Japanese tradition into a depiction of a single bird with a single plant. The underlying principle of the Kachō-e print tradition is to evoke the harmony of nature in the simplicity of pairings.

Both prints began as a series of expressive marks on the woodblock that were then carved and worked into a composition. Alates in Nuptial Flight evoked the experience of winged ants before an autumnal moon while Sanderling Shadows emerged from a memory of reflections in a pool of water that became evocative of a tidal shore. The expressive cut marks in the prints elicit the traces of insect and bird after they have disappeared.

I see my artistic practice as one that nourishes an empathy for the beautiful balance of ecology – a precariously fragile and yet resilient system. I hope that these images are able to evoke the poetry of natural moments in a way that can linger in the viewer’s consciousness.