Descent, Ascent and Macro Triptych: The Body Print Series
Descent combines earlier design elements used in the Squid series with relief printing of the human body and rope. The rope-bound, sinking figure is set against a black background, with a swirling blue opening at the top of the work representing the water's surface and light. This background motif common to the Squid series places the viewer underwater, viewing the surface above through an opening in an undersea cave. The motif represents a common metaphor in the marine-themed works: depth, life underwater and specifically the undersea cave symbolize the unconscious mind. The figure is being pulled down, away from the light, by the taut rope, apparently weighted. Descent is a response to the loss of friends to AIDS.
Ascent represents a re-affirmation of life and hope, the figure rising up toward the light, a return from darkness. The rope has been replaced with kelp, symbol of life in the nearshore ecology. Combining relief printing of the body with kelp further blurs distinctions between series of works, carrying earlier elements forward, in this case from the Macro series.
Macro Triptych completes the integration of the Macro and Body Print series by incorporating images of marine plankton in light blue swaths between the relief prints of the kelp and body, now over a white background. These works were created in 1991-92, each piece composed of 3 full sheets of heavy watercolor paper, overall framed dimension 110" x 30".