Journey by: Donna Stallard
Second Floor Gallery
Retelling Piranesi’s “Carceri d’Invenzione”
Portfolio Exchange compiled by David Spencer-Pierce
Artist Reception: Sept. 9, 2016, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Mid-America Print Council Conference Reception: Oct. 6, 2016, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
“Journey represents a physical and mental passage for me. Each of these boxes or containers had a previous purpose/intention before somehow they were presented in this exhibition. In most cases, each of the BX is created for a specific person, some knowingly while others are oblivious.” D. Stallard
Donna Stallard’s series of printed works finds inspiration in working with recycled, reclaimed boxes. Her generations of artist/printmakers were traditionally trained using very toxic, sometimes harmful chemicals. Because of this, she feels a need to create works that can be seen as environmentally friendly. She inherited her dad’s hoarding tendencies, and will keep and even move these items from place to place and state to state until she resolves their usefulness. She began to look at the number of discarded, sometimes unrecyclable containers that exist all around us; these would be the impetus for creating the series of works titled BX (boxes). Several of the BX pieces are interactive and meant to be manipulated by the viewer giving them an opportunity to roll the dice or remove a HDR to rearrange its position or location.
While working on the BX series, I simultaneously began working on the HDR (hand roller) series incorporating prints constructed to mimic the actual roller used to create my works. Since learning to use this tool, I have predominately dedicated my creative research to printing. I truly like all aspects of the print process, from the physicality of using the hand rollers and presses, to mixing the inks and using acids to etch matrixes.
“Imaginary Prisons” is a collaboration of contemporary print artists in the retelling of Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s “Carceri d’Invenzione.” Despite his contributions to the classical revival of his era, and his more traditional architectural vistas this seminal graphic series is certainly his most influential among artists and printmakers in particular.
The “Carceri” are dark, oppressive, seemingly never-ending prison-scapes of the mind. This highly imaginative series draws heavily from Piranesi’s architectural training, while still maintaining a mystery, and atmosphere of foreboding that continues to inspire many more than 200 years after their creation.
11 contemporary printmakers have come together to reexamine this classic series, each creating a vision of their own personal prisons, imaginary or otherwise. In doing so, they have had a unique chance to combine tradition, history, and practice.