The chalk cliffs surrounding the Brighton marina site are made up of the remains of ancient sea creatures, the fossilized bones of ice age land mammals, and nodules of flint. They stand in sharp contrast to the marina itself, a weirdly artificial (and often empty) collection of businesses and homes positioned in that strange space between land and sea.
During one of the perimeter walks of the Marina that I took in May while doing research for my current Shift-lab collaboration, I picked up a dislodged piece of chalk and took it home with me.
I started printing the Marina project a few weeks ago, laying down the black text that I culled from newspaper articles and promotional literature produced in the 1960s and 70s.
Some excerpts from the text:
Listen out for a bell which rings continuously : Kill forever the talk of pure speculation : There are two types of waves which will assault the Marina: This has happened once in America
The sea wall can commence and will be completed in two years : The harbor arms are each a mile long : Mr. Cohen had his vision : They will be on land reclaimed from the sea : Keeping a guardian’s eye on the western arm of the marina : The rings are lifted very slowly : The Marina is for everyone : This is simple work, really : Planning is a negative control : We can say what will not happen but we can’t say what must go in the plans
After getting this marina form onto the page, I had no real plans. I hoped to let the first steps guide the next few. I am dealing with a single sheet of kozo which will fold down twice (a french fold) to 8 x 6″. The Marina text above will appear in the opening, but there is more to be done on the back side, and on what will be the “cover” of the folded sheet. The sheet is translucent, so the imagery on the front and back side will impact each other.
Finding that chalk moved my thinking toward the cliffs and their long history. I spent time drawing bone shapes and flint orbs and thinking about how the chalk itself could play a role in the printing of the book. I often use magnesium carbonate to stiffen up my ink, why not shift to calcium carbonate and print some imagery with chalk from the cliffs?
To the cheese grater!
With a healthy dose of cliff chalk injected into my opaque white, I set to work, printing the lino cut above onto the back side of the text marina. It’s quite subtle on the sheet, but when held up to the light, the two forms have a new relationship.
There is still much to do. This fall, my Marina fold will be united with four other folded forms from Tricia Treacy, Katie Baldwin, Denise Bookwalter and Macy Chadwick, each an investigation of a manipulated location. Look for more information soon about an exhibition devoted to this project in Portland, Oregon in November.
And now is the time when I have to tell you something personal. I wasn’t sure I was going to mention this on the blog, but it will so obviously impact my life and work forever and ever that it seems silly not to. True fact: I am more than 8 months pregnant. Here, look:
I was really hoping to be one of those hard core pregnant ladies who could keep going until the due date, but as it turns out, I am one of those pregnant ladies who can’t walk more than twenty paces at a time without having to lie down or lean against a wall with several weeks still to go. Printing has officially become an impossibility for me, which is why I need to thank this man:
A Poem for Kevin
Kevin, Kevin, Kevin,
Friend, Printer, Hero,
If you were not here to print for me,
The book would be a zero
Kevin Hagger, of Rinkydink Ink, bless you for your selfless help. When this baby is on the outside and is, you know, not a newborn, I am ready to help you with whatever printing task you name. And also, I have a present for you.
That is it from Big Jump this week, but I have a couple of last items to share.