Friday, October 1, 2010

Momentum Artist: Chelsea Dudek

Chelsea Dudek, Piecemeal (4 Variations), Intaglio,
Embroidery, Chine-Colle on Rives BFK, 12"x12"

Q: What was the concept behind your Momentum artwork?

Dudek: The imagery and concept for this body of work is based on ladies' handkerchiefs found in thrift and antique stores.  The second hand store is important because this is where rejected, residual, and undesirable objects go.  I look for handkerchiefs that appear old, and have interesting textural qualities, because ultimately, this is what is translated in the print.  Stray strings, rips, and stained bits give the handkerchiefs more character, yet these are the most-orphaned hankies of all, which to me, adds appeal.  These lady-craft items are remnants of unknown past lives and their impressions in the intaglio prints preserve them, each variation of the print is a different interpretation of the piece.  
Chelsea Dudek, A Borrowed Buck Ten, Intaglio, 16"x16"
Q: Explain the technique and/or process you used to create your Momentum work.

Dudek: The process of making this work starts in the second hand store where I find handkerchiefs, doilies, and other lady-craft items.  Intaglio is a type of printmaking (aka making multiples) in which the image is acid-etched in a metal plate, creating crevices in the metal, which are filled with ink and transferred to paper.  For my prints, I use softground, an acid-resistant layer on the plate which is receptive to textural impressions.  Conceptually, one of the most important parts of the process is the exchange that happens as a result of using the softground; softground is a brownish paste that is applied to the plate, so when I place the handkerchief on the plate and run it through the press, the handkerchief is stained brown.  The impression of the handkerchief is left in the softground, allowing the acid to etch the handkerchief image in the copper.  For me, the beauty of the process is in this exchange, ruining the original in order to create an indefinite number of prints.  Often times, I repeat the same image in different ink colors and paper tones, creating many variations of the same handkerchief.  Sometimes I add elements of embroidery, chine colle, and handwritten notes or lists, bringing a new interpretation to each printing.  This repetition and variation is an exploration in understanding the origins of the piece. 
Chelsea Dudek, Fold, Intaglio and Chine-Colle, 16"x16
Momentum Tulsa opens with an event October 9 with live music, performance and visual art by 52 young Oklahomans.  The opening is Saturday, October 9, 8-Midnight at Living Arts, 307 E. Brady in Tulsa. The exhibition remains on display until October 23. Learn more or buy tickets here.


romy owens said...

beautiful. can't wait to see them in person.

t said...

dudek is the friggin shiznit. master of the printmakerying.