I've been on Instagram for six months now, and I must say it has been a liberating experience for me. I've discovered artists that I admire. Not only do I get to see their final works, but their processes, studios, and techniques. And, most of the images and videos are by the artists themselves.
This weekend on Instagram, their "Hashtag Project" is Reflections, and begins "Mirror, mirror, on the wall!" The goal is to take photos and videos of reflections, both man-made and naturally occurring.
The following is my entry:
This is how I describe my version of Reflection: In mathematics, reflection is a transformation that moves a region to its mirror image. Reflections like this happen when I am printmaking: the printed image is a mirror reflection of the carved linoleum plate. This video shows a print on a translucent fabric being lifted from the linoleum master. This weekend I am printing on very fragile and rare textiles and thanks to Instagram, and this challenge, I am motivated to videotape part of the process. I must admit I have only one chance to take this video, one chance to capture this process: there is no second take. There is no "Wait, let's do it again." This textile printmaking process is not repeatable, and yes, it makes me nervous to know that if the timing is off, or something goes wrong, I cannot do it over.
Some days I spend so much time experimenting with different techniques and color combinations that I feel like I'm not making a lot of progress.
I have been documenting which textiles I like working with. They are linens, cottons, silks and natural fibers. Most of the African textiles are handwoven and create interesting textures when I cut and manipulate them.
I have been experimenting with fabric manipulation techniques.
It has taken me a few tries to achieve the effect that I envisioned. I've been doing a lot of research at the National Museum of African Art on scarification, tooth filing, coiffures, and distortions of the body and body paintings.
These of some of my research books and I plan to experiment with more textile techniques and manipulations to match the particular African body arts.
The next few books explore the transience of life and this textile manipulation technique is perfect.