Over the last months I have been working quietly away at a series of prints derived from a worship dance video that I found on youtube. I discovered that the beautiful and athletic dancer, Tashara Gavin-Moorehead, was living in California. I messaged her to ask permission to use stills from the video in my work. She generously agreed.
In the video, she is dancing to a song sung by Whitney Houston, I love the lord. The music is soulful and full of emotion, as is the dance. I selected stills which drew out and highlighted this emotional intensity. I emailed her the stills I had chosen to use, to get her approval before going ahead with my plate making.
I spent hours on my computer, capturing particular moments, then isolating the figure by converting the background into amorphous shapes and shadows. I decided to work on steel to take advantage of and play up the grainy imagery. I developed four images first, printed bit maps on drafting film, then booked sessions at london print studio to turn the images into photo etching plates. I finished etching the plates at my own studio. Once the plates were trimmed up I experimented with various ways of inking them up, finally settling on a very loose and painterly method giving the appearance of a water colour wash. I printed them on heavy somerset velvet paper (400 gsm warm white, satin)
and tore the edges down for each print to the plate edge.
I then chose four further images and gradually made the photo etching plates for these works, and resolved the final prints at the printing stage. Each work is titled with a Japanese word expressing emotion.
Naku (cry, sing)
Kushin (diligence, pain)