Land  +  Self (portraits)

This project has evolved over the years to its current state as a series of  reduction woodcut print, which I plan to turn into wall-mounted installations incorporating the print, the remaining woodblock, and other elements to create a type of shrine.

Each piece is a kind of portrait created in collaboration with its subject (or in the case of The Sturdy Child, myself) reflecting on relationships to the land and family that formed them. Each image serves as a kind of devotional piece focused on the personal, emotional or spiritual strength or connections each subject desires.

     Reduction woodcut allows the artist to print many colors from one block of wood. Starting from the lightest colors, you carve away each layer before printing the next until at the end you are left with only the shapes that will be printed in the darkest color. Reduction woodcut has always had a spiritual connotation to me since it creates an image that can never be repeated once finished and leaves the block as ghostly evidence of what was created. I feel it is  appropriate to use this medium for works that are about connection with the self and past and can serve as focal points for personal spiritual understanding.

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© 2020  Catherine Aiello