Mary Hood


untitled-11My current research, The Twilight Hours, and Even In Arcadia, exists in the luminous space between day and night, where imagination is unquestioned and empowered to construct new a worldview. This work investigates utopian and dystopian constructions; exploring the boundaries between the idealized and abstracted spaces of an immaterial world. I use myth to reconstruct time, space, narrative, and experience, to challenge the unspoiled and harmonious wilderness devoid of the impact of human civilization, drawing new boundaries for a collective cultural understanding.  Many of my narratives are alluding to themes within contemporary culture that express a political or social point of view, using animals as a metaphor for human behaviors.  Birds fly into invisible fences, dogs are sleeping while on guard, bears are unwillingly displaced, and eagles run through forests trying to escape world scrutiny, cautiously reminding us that complexity resides in apparent simplicity.

New forms of expression, knowledge, and creativity emerge by researching myth with both image development and process, I use handmade paper in combination with digital composition and laser engraving to reference some sort of balance: low tech with high tech.  The laser engraved relief plates are etched into a variety of wood veneers that are then combined with other processes to highlight the relevancy of digital processes as they relate to printmaking’s graphic identity, the creation of unique matrixes, and the interconnectivity of printmaking as a system of visual language. 

For many years prior I worked with the idea of Silence in artist’s books, prints, paintings, drawings, sculptures, sound, and installations that sought to create a temporal environment for experiencing Silence. In 2000 my ideas turned to the abstract notion of Time, which, like Silence, is purely rhetorical rather than factual in its definition. In the fall of 2004 I fully turned my attention to the Now and began hand creating Ten Thousand Tears. This  project was an important tool for me to reflect upon the  environmental, social and political unrest in our chaotic global theatre.  A series of prints and artists books followed in which water is pooling, overflowing, diverting and escaping. The water in turn becomes the substance of reflection and a symbol for our collective sub-consciousness, and within each drop of water I etched my fingerprint to give an individual identity to the symbolism in the image.  

~  Mary Hood