I print these on hand-painted paper with sgraffito etched into thickly painted gesso (see details below). I then hand-coat the stretched sheet. After printing over this, I retouch by hand. The edges are carefully hand-torn for a softer, handmade appearance. In addition, I sign and number each unique original print.
This art is another kind of self-portrait. My calligraphy is always an expressive projection of myself. Here it’s been projected (from a digital projector) over the hands that wrote it. Projected images of my calligraphy beamed light over my hands in an otherwise dark room and I photographed the results.
The projected light made a new kind of illuminated manuscript. This hand-book is also a digital manual, in that it bears ten digits (fingers). Editing included inverting the colours so black becomes white, and so on.
I composited additional calligraphy on top. ‘Hand DIGITAL’ can be read on my left palm—every hand is digital in that it bears five digits. "Book MANUAL’, on my right palm, points to both meanings of the word manual: done by hand and also a handbook.
A quotation is presented on either side of the hands: “Hold me up to the light; you will see poems. Hold me in the dark; you will see light.” My polyrhythmic writing favours a musical flow more than clear legiblity. It forms a dancing rhythm that expands and contracts. The text, and also that in illegible fragments on the hands, is from the poem We Learned by Erica Jong.
The framing of this work should not allow the art surface to touch the picture glazing. I generally use a slip of balsa wood hidden under the lip of the frame for this purpose. A good fine-art framer can advise you better than a general picture framer of posters.
LONG-LASTING ARCHIVAL MEDIA
Printed from an Epson SC P800 using Epson’s 9-color UltraChrome ink system at 2880 dpi on painted Bockingford 140 lb acid-free watercolour paper, with custom coatings added by the artist.