I don’t know what possessed me to agree to take part in a print exchange during the busiest time of the semester–maybe it was the temptation of receiving prints from ten other printmakers that will likely rock my little world. Perhaps it was an opportunity to forget about my thesis for a little while. Or I could have just been sleep-deprived and delirious–that’s how I fell into the last one.
So this exchange has a theme: “Equilibrium or Dis-equilibrium.” I feel like at this point in the semester–and let’s be honest here, in my life–that’s a recurring theme, and one I shouldn’t have any problem responding to through ink and paper.
It proved harder than I thought, this equilibrium business. The rules of the exchange say that the prints must be dry when they arrive. I chuckled the first time I read this line, but now I’m cringing because it took me longer than I planned to come up with material for this image, I laid the ink on a bit thick in the monoprint phase of this adventure, and then a storm front moved through bringing the added bonus of ruthless humidity. I may have to take a hairdryer to them.
In the end, I recycled a bit of text and image from my thesis. The whole book deals with balance and imbalance, really–I didn’t see it that way at first, but now it seems obvious. It’s a collection of stories about relationships and romantic encounters that are viewed through multiple lenses: what was, what might have been. At times it pits fiction against fact, which I think is a recurring theme in all of my relationships. It seems to always come down to the unreliable nature of memory–I’m that gal who will argue that the first song we slow danced to was “These Arms if Mine,” while the guy I danced with will swear it was “Into the Mystic.” These songs are nothing alike–it’s not like confusing Sam Cooke with Solomon Burke. It’s like confusing a hamburger with sushi. So how can we recall the same event so differently?
Memory can lead to balance or the complete lack of it–maybe this is why it’s so fascinating to me. And maybe I find my own equilibrium somewhere in the pull between the real and the imagined.