PRINTgallery: Coastlines

Artist Statement

Aggregation: Inside Passage‘, linocut and blind embossing PRINT gallery Issue #3: Coastlines

This monochromatic, blind embossed linocut is informed by chartography and based on the channels, islands and fjords of Wright Sound, located along the northern coastline of British Columbia. In a way, the process of carving into the linoleum mimics the ocean topography: gouging into the surface to create the submarine channels and skimming away sea-bound rivers. This piece is an impression of a 120 km by 85 km stretch of inner coastline around Princess Royal Island, along the route of the Inside Passage. These deep marine trenches are vital ecosystems to a wide variety of life including many species of cetaceans, most commonly: fin whales, humpback whales and orca. Through this print I seek to highlight this remote yet busy marine waterway and bring attention to the many ways the Wright Sound is used. 
By combining blind embossing and linocut, I am able to layer two types of visual information: relief areas representing submarine topographical changes and a graphic labyrinth of landmasses and waterways. Bordering on abstraction, this work plays with the push and pull of negative and positive shapes. Considering what navigation could possibly be like from the perspective of a whale, I chose to contain the visual information within the submarine areas, leaving the landforms as dark, negative spaces—as if it were a map made for a whale.  

Linocut is a new medium for me. I chose to learn it because of the historical importance of printmaking and mapmaking and also because of the level of integration that can happen when using the press as a way of applying ink. Over this learning process, and considering my subject matter, I found the connections interesting between carving away the deep waterways. After creating the linocut prints, I then blind embossed overtop of them to create the hint of contour lines. I was able to create this result by putting my prepared relief plate under my pint and running it through the press a second time, leaving behind the impression of organic lines under the water.  

This print highlights the waters of Caamano Sound (in the lower left) to Douglass Channel (at the top of the print). Although this is a remote area, it is full of life and activity. These narrow waterways are used by cruise ships, freighters, tugboats, fishing vessels, pleasure crafts, BC Ferries, Coast Guard, float planes, charters and marine life. Within the confines of this specific area include the location of the sinking of the MV Queen of the North (BC Ferries), the proposed LNG shipping route for the Northern Gateway Pipeline, the land-based marine research station of BC Whales, the small community of Hartly Bay and the sea entrance to Kitimat. This unique topographical environment offers shelter from the open ocean, warmer water temperatures and an abundance of marine food sources. This valuable and delicate network of weaving passages represents ecology, commerce, trade and travel. Idyllic and natural but also a place of contention and industry. This print highlights the value and importance of these narrow and sheltered channels. 

What is the PRINTgallery?

PRINT is an artist-run non-profit society that promotes printmaking and print artists on BC’s West Coast. PRINT’s goal is to bring the experience and diversity of printmaking to the public through a hardcopy “gallery” and on-line publication.

The PRINT gallery is a printed distributed “venue” for regional print artists to show their work, give an artist talk, and share their inspirations and creative processes with a wide audience through a written format; a gallery without the physical building. The published “gallery” will include articles/interviews on regional printmakers and print studios, and will feature an original hand-pulled juried print by a local artist. 

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1.  A free off-set PRINT gallery   
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$15 each or $10 for PRINT members. 

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