Some of you may remember the call to artists I mentioned in December. Since then my print has been completed, shipped, sparred for flight by kitemaker Scott Skinner, and sent onto to Japan.
Despite all the terrible tragedy that visited Japan at the beginning of the year, some things resolutely stayed on course; in March, the print show opened in Kyoto at the 6th Kyoto International Washi Association Exhibition and in the beginning of June showed again at the 1st International Mokuhanga Conference in Kyoto. My print joins a group of other print and kitemakers' work as well as some innovative larger kitework by Yoshizumi Nobuhiko (who also makes very small kites, some only a few mm in size) and Scott Skinner's own work. The show will travel a bit more this year before retiring.
It's a bit of a thrill for me to know my work has traveled a world away and has a long journey ahead of it before finding a new home.
Though I've explored the image of a tangle for a long while, it resonants particularly well for a kite as anyone who has noted a pile of line at a flier's feet. When in the sky, this kite reflects what is on the ground, mediated by a thread and the hand holding the the line between them.
The composition for the print was created by sketching with ready-made cotton line dropped from above as it might be in flying a kite and recording my favorites until I settled on one to make. Tempting as it was to use handspun for my sketches as I do with Specimens, I refrained, as it seemed most appropriate to use line that the kite would fly on to maintain gestural symmetry.
This above/below symmetry mediated by the hand shows up in my Spindle drawings too, albeit less visibly in the completed works. During creation of the drawings, I draw the image from above the prepared paper which lays horizontally. The roving of wool is tamed into a line by hand and the spindle holding a piece of graphite below it draws a roving line into chaotic masses.
My to-do list includes sparring and bridling one of the extra prints of Kiteline and flying it myself soon. In the proper circumstances the sun will illuminate the kite from behind, and the tangle will glow through paper left bare of ink.
For now here's a few images from the printing of:
This printing ink smells divinely of burnt linseed oil.
When counterspace ran out, the oven became a drying rack.
Scott Skinner reflects on process, the exhibit, and presents more of the submitted prints in Kitelife magazine here.