Friday, March 6, 2015

"The Presence and Absence of the light" a collaboration for Al-Mutanabbi Street

a joint effort

Today is the 8th Anniversary of a terrible assault against the freedom of speech, culture and democracy that happened in Baghdad.  Helen Malone had made an artist book  "Absence" for a project which mushroomed all over the world in response to the  Al-Mutanabbi Street bombing in Baghdad on 5th March 2007. This is the historic centre of the city's intellectual and literary community, where books have been sold for centuries.  Helen Malone approached me earlier this year about working on a print with her. Check out her blog for a more detailed and informative account of how the print works.
As neither of us are printmakers, I thought this would be an interesting little journey.We felt that if we collaborated on this
 print, we would be making a small contribution to the support and
solidarity between artists around the world and more particularly 
those in Iraq .

"The Presence and Absence of the Light"

The print is a combination of two prints, the first is a linocut of an Islamic screen which has openings to let in the light of the world, culture and literature, and others that are blocked by an aggressive arrow pointed shape moving across the screen.

The second digital print of abstract asemic writing underlies the first print.  It also contains the jumbled letters of the words Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here, but only fragments of the print are visible through the openings in the screen, and these letters do not appear in their entirety.

The composite print has a three dimensional element in that the openings in part of the screen have shutters (or perhaps book covers) that need to be opened when the print is on display.

Helen and I, both felt that we  have achieved making a print which works much better than anything we would have made on our own.

1 comment:

Helen M said...

I wish I'd said that last sentence on my blog Jack - I definitely would not have been able to produce such a great piece on my own.