S A U D A D E
Saudade is a Portuguese word that has no direct English translation. It describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return.
This is a piece that I made for my final project in a class that I took this term: Screen Printing Workshop. I've now developed a strong interest and a skill set for printmaking. I find it very similar to analog photography, because of the time and personal labor involved in the printing process as well as the fact that they are traditionally two dimension art mediums.
I've been working and practicing these mediums together for a whole year now, and while I've been able to re-evaluate what a photograph is with working and comparing it to printmaking, I've had the urge to depart from working on the two dimension surface in both photography and printmaking - this project is a perfect example of that.
The idea behind creating this piece was to remove the screen print from its traditional matrix - paper. The composite image of this piece was actually taken from an edition that I made previously for the same class. I was working with transparent base for the ink to layer colors and create colors within colors in order to achieve a sense of depth within the flat surface. Simply satisfied with the edition I wanted to push it further and create phyiscal depth within the image, with the same transparent inks.
For the original prints, I took a black and white, solarized, gelatin silver print I made a while ago, scanned it and decompartmentalized it in Adobe Photoshop and Indesign keeping in mind the layers I would be working with. Each layer was then printed on paper as halftone images using the mixed, colored inks I had made. For this particular piece I took those same separate layers and printed each one on separate sheets of plexiglass that I then stacked within a wooden platform cut to the size of the sheets, with slits made to the thickness of the plexi. In a way, I was registering the layers in a similar way while printing - except here I literally had individual layers of the image to work with.
I wanted to have the same composite image, but I ended up adding text - a layer printed in a transparent, cream color with the text "S A U D A D E". This particular word pertains to my current state of mind about where my life is and the changes I've been experiencing here at Bennington. The meaning of this word seemed to appropriately compliment the visual quality of the piece - transparent, invisible, solid, there but not there at the same time. Depending on the light - light being a vital component to perception - and the position at which one views it, layers of the piece almost seem to shift and blend, becoming either more visible or invisible.