Line, pattern, shape, and repetition are concepts that guide my investigation into the space between things and where things meet: where one thing becomes another, where things shift along a line, the horizon, the negative space between elements on a page, and the pairing of shapes. For me, these are ways to experience expansiveness, tension, and balance. The endless horizon line on the flat plane of the Mississippi Delta shaped my visual language from an early age and attempting to capture that elusive sense of place is a persistent goal.
Prints in the Where the Air is Thick series attempt to evoke landscapes, broad horizons, and plowed fields encountered through a haze of thick, humid air or when driving and watching the radiating patterns of neat crop rows ready to be planted. With this work, it is important that I use a traditional letterpress matrix, in this case, hairline on 2pt lead rule, but I am not using it for its intended purpose of printing ruled paper or creating borders. In an effort to be resourceful with a given set of materials, I am interested in the idea of combinatorics, whereby I investigate all of the combinations from a limited vocabulary of matrices. With the lead rule, I am able to bend and manipulate it to create the glitchy, moiré patterns that create the optical vibrations on the page. Each print is unique and the possible variations is limitless.
Following the same principle of using materials already in the shop, the Correlations prints are studies in the relationship between shapes. Printed from the reverse side of wood type that has been kerned, they explore the negative space between shapes as well as the space they occupy on the page. The Pairings prints follow this same thread but this time with shapes hand cut from wood veneer. In 2016, I developed a composite matrix of veneer and steel that is type high when placed on a magnetic base traditionally used for printing steel backed photopolymer plates. The steel backed shapes allow me to easily reuse and rearrange the wood shapes to create infinite combinations while at the same time allowing for quick and nimble work at the press. I am drawn to this low-tech approach and use these shapes to compose while at the press, often creating the combinations in response to the previous press run.