Xchanges is excited to present Iterations: Hands, Feet, Faces by artist Dorothy Field. The show opens on Friday, March 12 at 7pm (non social) and on weekends until March 28, 2021 from 11am-4pm.
This solo exhibition features print-based work, etchings and mono-prints, on Japanese-style artist-made paper. Field works with the same etching plates over and over, experimenting with various ways of manipulating the prints which were created by running her garden gloves and her tai chi shoes through the press. Mono-prints, by definition one-of-a-kind, feature faces drawn from around the world. Ultimately, the various bits and pieces come together in abstract collage. The prints push the imagery to the point where it begins to dissolve. Even so, it is always there.
In her artist’s statement and description of this body of work, Field writes:
For several year I have been playing with the idea of creating imagery and then interrupting it.
I print the same etching plates over and over, incorporating different, sometimes unconventional ways of shifting the theme. Inspired by Betty Goodwin’s vest series and the way she liberated the press, I placed my ancient garden gloves on a copper plate prepared with soft ground and ran them through the press to create an etching plate. Later, I did the same with my Tai Chi shoes.
I’ve also been working with the human face using the very direct lift print technique. Of particular interest are the faces of people we might consider Other. I collage these lift prints with scraps of etchings and the odds and ends of papers that float around my studio. I incorporate text as a visual element for its rhythm and sense of message, even when I don’t know the language or it is obscured in some way.
The substrate is integral to the work. I made most of the sheets of paper from imported and local fibres using Japanese and Nepalese techniques. Some papers are fairly refined, some are quite rough. The pieces represent a marriage of paper and image with the paper more than just a vehicle to carry them. My interest is non-narrative, exploring the many ways an image can be stretched, obscured, and overlapped while still retaining the image or its shards.
The resulting work is additive and layered. I rarely know exactly where I’m going, feeling my way to unknown destinations. This body of work engages the accidental, the imperfect, and happenstance. I am willing to live with a few disasters in order to arrive at the unexpected.