Chiarina Loggia

A printmaker's progress


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Paper Dreams


Paper Dreams

Paper Dreams

I am thrilled to finally unveil my latest large piece, Paper Dreams, which was completed in 2015. Paper Dreams is probably the most complex and considered artwork I have created to date. Below is the artist statement I prepared for the work.

“Paper Dreams is a complex paper and wood sculpture created as a meditation on the impermanence and fragility of our dreams. Designed to loosely resemble paper strips going through a shredder, it consists of multiple photopolymer gravure prints with poetry, and reflects a significant period in my artistic life. By cutting and discarding portions of these prints, I surrendered the life I had created for them. In doing so I was able to create something new and beautiful, demonstrating how destruction and creation often go hand in hand, as do fragility and resilience.”

The idea for Paper Dreams began with a desire to create a complex paper construct made up of multiple hand-pulled prints, which would provide glimpses of figures in various moments and moods. This would be achieved through a combination of layering, folding and cutting of the prints. I had, over the years, created a large number of figurative works on paper, and in a decisive moment of clarity I realized what I truly wished to achieve. I wanted to create an artwork that represented who I was as an artist at this moment in time. Gathering all these images together in one piece would be one way to do that. At the same time, by tearing and discarding portions of these prints I was letting go of the life and dreams I had created for them individually. This was not an easy thing to do. I chose prints that I had deep connection to for their meaning and quality, as well as the treasured experience of creating them. They were an integral part of my life as an artist and a woman. Many of them were self portraits. By shredding them I was letting go of my own dreams. And in the letting go I found that I was able to create something new and beautiful with its own new life and meaning.

Below is a photo of the initial stages of layering and ordering the images. Some of the prints had to be cut and collaged onto new stips of paper to fit well. Here you see them before any collaging was done.

IMG_8005a

Paper Dreams in progress

Several new prints were created for the piece as well, and new and old poems were added throughout the work, all with dream motifs.  While choosing the images for the piece I realized that the word “dream” had been used in a good many of the individual artwork titles. Where I could, I left these visible. Below is a detail showing some of the poetry.

Paper Dreams, detail

Paper Dreams, detail

The photo above also shows how the layering affords mere glimpses at times of the images behind the front layers. I decided early on that this piece would be unframed and the poetry would be written in pencil, as this was an essential part of the theme of fragility. It was also necessary in order to lift layers to see those behind.

To anchor the pieces of paper I chose two strips of maple cut from one piece sliced in half and which had a  gorgeous live edge on the top. I found it rummaging through Detlef Grundmann’s woodworking shop and commissioned him to cut and sand it to size for me. I then finished it with GAC on the inside for a protective barrier where the paper would adhere to and with a finishing wax everywhere else. The pieces of paper were then glued on in four layers, two to the back piece and two to the front piece of wood. Finally the two pieces of wood were joined together as shown below. The back piece was wired like a regular frame for hanging

IMG_8357 a

Clamping the wood pieces together.

Below is a side view of the artwork showing its three dimensionality.

paper Dreams, side view

Paper dreams, side view

The title, Paper Dreams, works on several levels. It refers to the nature of the materials used in the artwork, wood and paper being the same material in different stages of creation. Primarily it denotes the fragile and transitory nature of life, attachments and desires and the deeply personal perspectives from which we view our world and ourselves.

Paper Dreams will have it’s unveiling at the 2016 Sooke Fine Art Show this July 22 – August 1 at the SEAPARK Complex in Sooke, BC. There will be a Purchaser’s Preview evening on Thursday, July 21, 7-10pm and an Artists’ Celebration on July 23, 7-10pm. If you are in the area please do visit the show and enjoy the many fabulous artworks on display.

To whet your appetite here is a final detail of the artwork.

Paper Dreams, detail

Paper Dreams, detail 2

Paper Dreams, photopolymer gravure on paper on wood, 34″x33″

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Tapestry – A Picture Book


Tapestry

Tapestry

This year seems to be a year for re-imagining older works. Earlier this year I created a work of art using portions of older prints in combination with new pieces, collaging them together into a paper scroll entitled Island Tapestry. Around the same time I was working on an even larger, more complex piece that I will blog about soon. This second piece left me with many remnants of prints I had cut up and gave me the idea to create Tapestry, the piece above, a multiprint patchwork of images that together create a cohesive whole.

I began with a loose idea of collaging darker pieces for the left third of the board and using lighter pieces for the rest. I had the dark pieces and found that they worked well as horizontal bands of color but I soon realized that I wanted more defined and recognizable imagery for the remaining two thirds of the piece. So I dug through my stack of prints and picked out the images that worked well as two-inch squares and assembled them into a pleasing, connected and vibrant collage. Some of these pieces were left as 2x4s or 4x2s for better impact and to break up the symmetry.

The images used for the piece were taken from prints both large and small, representational and abstract. Many are figurative. All give just a tiny glimpse into a larger world. As a good friend and fellow artist, Ann Semple, put it, “ it feels like the tapestry is a book and each piece is a short story that culminates in a complete tale”. The piece is indeed a “picture book”, though each picture only hints at the full story, leaving the viewer to fill in the gaps. The dark portion on the left is even more clouded, with the merest hints of the world, and acting as both a metaphor for the entire work and a visual foil to the more delineated imagery. The details below shows just how necessary that foil is.

Tapestry, detail 1

Tapestry, detail 1

Tapestry, detail 2

Tapestry, detail 2

Tapestry, detail 3

Tapestry, detail 3

I have always considered myself a storyteller with my artwork. Lately I am realizing that my storytelling is deliberately incomplete, that I prefer to tantalize the viewer with hints and impressions. In this way he is drawn in, reads between the lines and finds greater resonance with his own experience.

Happy reading. Please share your experience of it in the comments below.

Tapestry, a 12″x36″ multiprint collage on paper mounted on board, is offered at $650.


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Tuesday Tales – Reflections On Water


Water Sprite

Water Sprite

A few years ago, I put together a show called Mirror, Mirror. In this show I explored themes of self perception as seen through the eyes of others. When creating the works for the show, I wanted to include one artwork that used water as the mirror. One of the thoughts I wanted to put forth was the importance of the clarity of the mirror in presenting what it shows, for the clearer the mirror the more true will be the reflection. Or in the case of people, the more free of preconceptions or misperceptions they are, the more honestly they will see you.

Water, being such a motile and refractable medium, easily affected by conditions surrounding it, would act as a good metaphor for a person who is unable to perceive you clearly and fully due to their own internal and situational circumstances. For this piece, I photographed my reflection in a bathtub filled with water. The bathtub, being under a skylight, reflected some branches and leaves just outside the window, making the figure appear outdoors rather than inside. The light, being dim, was only able to capture the forms in silhouette. This worked very well for what I was trying to express. With the figure turned away from the viewer and the forms barely discernable through the abstract swirls of paint, the viewer is offerd only a small obscured glimpse of the person, and therefore left to wonder and form their own opinions with minimal “clarification”. In the second print below, I increased the level of bewilderment even further by turning the figure upside down and painting greater movement and abstraction into the piece. The figure is seen as through a fog, the fog serving to symbolize the cloudiness of our own assumptions about others, and how important it is to clear that fog in order to see each other more clearly.

Water Sprite 2

Water Sprite 2

At the time I created these pieces I was struggling with the fact that vastly different perceptions of me could be had by the people in my life. I understood that distance and poor communication played a large role in this, but in time I realized that the assumptions and conclusions they made often had less to do with me and more to do with their own experience and concerns. And I was left wondering if it is ever possible to see others clearly and fully, for we all carry ourselves and our experiences with us.

Water Sprite and Water Sprite, 2 , both 8″x8″ monoprints on 15″x20″ paper, are offerd this week at $200 each or $350 for both, unframed.

You can contact me at chiarina@charina.com for further info or to purchase.


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Tuesday Tales – When Trees Talk


The language of Trees, 2, detail 2

The language of Trees, 2, detail 2

Tuesday flew by this week so my tale is playing catch up.

I love trees. I especially love arbutus trees. Their sinuous lines, rich color and smooth texture underneath their thin, peeling bark make them a striking presence in the woods. They love the sea and grow mostly within 3 miles of the ocean.  They thrive on crags and bluffs and love to twist towards the sun and literally hang out over water.

Last year I took part in a show called Human-Nature. This show explored our changing and profound relationship to nature and how it shines a light on our own human nature. I discuss the show in more detail here.

One of the works in the show was The language of Trees, 2, shown above and below. This piece began with the image of the trees, the straight fir and the twisting arbutus, dipping its branches down to the water. They seemed to be talking. In fact the shape they formed was reminiscent of Japanese Kanji. Because the arbutus are such water lovers, as am I, I decided to combine the image with some dried kelp found on the local beaches. The kelp in the work below is reminiscent of the Japanese hiragana for “su”, which ends every action word. Together these elements reference the voice of nature and and the importance of listening to and connecting with the natural world we live in.

Language of Trees, 2

The Language of Trees, 2

The Language of Trees, 2, detail 1

The Language of Trees, 2, detail 1

This piece is one of a pair. The Language of Trees, 1 is sold but I have made etchings of the tree images separately, as seen below. They are titled Kanji 1 and Kanji 2 .

Kanji 1

Kanji 1

Kanji 2

Kanji 2

The Language of Trees, 2,  a 16″x24″ mixed media piece, is offered this week for $250.
Kanji 1 and Kanji 2, 3.5″x5″ photopolyer gravure etchings, are offered this week for $$50 each or $90 for the pair.


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Serendipity


Yesterday I happened to read this beautiful poem just as the  song below began to play and somehow the two together meshed into something much more powerful and soul stirring. I’ve always loved the REM song but somehow hearing it sung operatically in Italian brought it to another level and because the words were not imediately recognizable I could read the poem instead while listening and this made the poem that much more poignant and beautiful. I encourage you to do the same and also to follow this lovely blog by a sensitive and beautiful soul.

And just for reference, here is the original REM song with its extraordinary video which also coincidently has added words that raise the poignancy of the song.


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Portraits In Prints


Portraits In PrintsRecently I had the pleasure of giving a talk on my work in conjunction with a show I was taking part in, Stinking Fish Artists: AT THE MAG

To prepare for the talk, I created two slideshows of my work, one on process and the other higlighting some of the recent figurative works I have done. I’d like to share them here, along with the introductions I gave during the talk. I hope you enjoy.

“My medium of choice is printmaking. I know this is a medium that not many people are familiar with and one that is often confused with reproduction work. So I will begin my talk with a brief explanation of the process of printmaking and of how I came to become a printmaker.

Many years ago, in the late 80s I was living in Japan. While I was there I attended the CWAJ Print Show in Tokyo, a show that was put on as a yearly fundraiser for a college women’s group and one that featured the work of many of Japan’s foremost contemporary artists, as well as the works of quite a few foreign artists living in Japan. The artworks in the show blew me away. They were unlike anything I had ever seen before. Unlike oils or watercolours, they had a quality and structure that defied understanding, and the subject matters, being highly influenced by Japanese culture, held a fascination and beauty that was very appealing. The descriptions of the works were baffling to me: etching, aquatint, mezzotint, lithograph, serigraph, wood cut, as was the fact that many of these pieces were done as editions yet were considered original works of art of great value. No amount of explanation or reading up on the terminology really helped to understand the processes involved in creating the works. But I happily immersed myself in the print scene and even bought a few prints myself, not understanding how they were made but appreciating their beauty nevertheless. At the time I continued my studies in ink brush painting and watercolour and continued with that as I moved around the world. In the year 2000 I returned to Japan and once again found myself captivated by the amazing print scene there but it wasn’t until I moved to Victoria, BC in 2002 that I finally took my first printmaking class at MISSA at Pearson College. I finally, through the process of actually making prints, understood what printmaking was all about. I came to understand that it was a process of transferring an image from one substrate to another with the use of pressure, and in the process of doing so a unique and intriguing work of art is created. There are many ways of doing this transfer process and the one I have become most fascinated with is the process of photo etching. What I love about this process is that it uses light to create an image and it allows for the use of photographic imagery to be used and manipulated to create the final work. The following slide show takes you step by step through that process. It begins with a series of images that begin with the original photograph and end with the print and then it moves on to how the plates and prints are created. The large black box you will see in some of the slides is one of my light boxes that exposes the plate to light to create the image on the plate. So here is the first slideshow.

Portraits In Prints, Part 1

As you will have noticed most of my imagery is figurative work. I began doing figurative work a few years ago when I decided I was going to do a self portrait. I had a need to express something important to me and  to push some boundaries in my life and in my art and I realized that a self portrait could do the trick. Well this first self portrait snowballed into many series of figurative works that culminated in three solo shows, several small group shows and some critical acclaim with a total of five awards at various large juried art shows on the island. But the most important thing it did was allow me to finally create works that were inspired from within, that helped me find my voice to tell my own truths and to ask my own questions. I could create artwork that mattered, that not only reflected my journey through life but helped me along that journey, and I soon found that it helped others as well for it connected with viewers on a deeper, more emotional and personal level than my artwork ever has before. I found I was finally able to create artwork that could act as a mirror for others to find their own truth and see their journeys in and that is very satisfying and exciting to me. So here is Part Two of Portraits in Prints. It shows a good number of the figurative works that I have created in the past few years. I hope you enjoy.

Portraits In Prints, Part 2


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The Body Speaks – while I’ve been silent


It’s been a long time since my last post, the better part of a year. In that time I have sold a house, gone on my first cruise ever and put together another solo show. I could write long posts on each one of these things but I’ll keep to the art news here.

Body Of Work 1 & 2

As my post title indicates, my new show is titled The Body Speaks, and it is one in which I continue my fascination with the human figure and how we relate and respond to its myriad expressions. What began as a study of human relationships soon expanded into a look at out how our bodies have a language all of their own and how readily and instinctually we read and respond to each other’s gestures and postures. Below is a discussion of the works in the show.

The titles of two of the pieces in the show, Body of Work 1 – In Her Eyes and Body Of Work 2 – Mirror, Mirror, depict a collage of a body of work from two previous shows, ones in which I used images of the human body to communicate with my audience. The images moreover are laid out in a linear, foreshortened manner to allude to the way artworks are placed and viewed along a wall in a gallery. These two works, along with a third, entitled Puppet Master, which contains a multitude of prints hanging on strings from a bamboo crossbeam, illustrate the role of the artist as facilitator, with his ability to direct the viewer’s attention, influence his emotional response and generate a dialogue between people.

Several of the works in the show highlight the intensity and eloquence of the eyes and hands, our most expressive features.  A pair of faces contrasts the promise of youth with the sageness of maturity, yet expresses a fiery spirit and strength of character that defies age. Hands caressing a lover’s body speak of passion and tenderness. A woman grabs her hair enigmatically, a man’s heart is seen in his bruised face, and another’s reclining on a bed.

Close-ups of other body parts give us enigmatic glimpses into the human condition. Bare feet amongst rubble and broken glass express a forlorn vulnerability. A bared back morphing into a tree trunk while an outstretched arm touches a stone wall evokes a sense of connectedness, strength and inner harmony.

Images of people together, whether touching or apart, reflect the bonds and boundaries of their relationships. The closeness of friends, embrace of expectant parents, the mirrored movements of mother and child, a lover’s gaze – all speak volumes without words.

A number of works illustrate the dichotomy of the more impersonal, yet strangely intimate, world of social media and smart phones, wherein our connections have taken on an ephemeral and intangible quality that is redefining human interaction. Photographs and video are superseding direct interaction while taking on key roles in the development of our online personas and avatars. The works in this show, by their own nature as photopolymer gravure etchings based on photographic imagery, illustrate this vividly.

All in all, the works express a wide range of human emotion and experience that I hope resonates with and engages the viewer.  Whatever else the images may express, the connections made between model, photographer and viewer remain an underlining current in every work.

More images of the works in the show can be found here: (Click on slideshow for a larger view)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chiarina606/sets/72157626686287718/

A video of the show by Exhibit-V can be seen here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yshEkRpRQY

If you are in town please drop by and check out the artwork.

The show runs until June 9 at Collective Works Gallery, Victoria, BC, open Tues to Sun, 12-6pm

http://www.collectiveworks.ca/