‘Jigsaw’ A Puzzling Woodcut Project

      Andrea Pro ~ ImageArtist Statement

       Trees are the largest and longest-living life form on our planet. They witness life unfolding around them before our births and after we are gone from the scene. They stand still, rooted, and endure what comes: fire, wind, indiscriminate harvesting, and bees collecting nectar. They generously offer their practical bounty of oxygen, wood and food, and inspire us through their beauty. The trees in these prints, ‘Ohi’a, Kukui, Monkeypod, Silky Oak, Bodhi, and Breadfruit are favorite friends that give me joy in my daily life.  ‘Uniting Heaven and Earth’ arose from my increasing understanding of the interactive relationship of trees in realms of the atmosphere and the earth. ‘The Happiness of Trees’ reflects the simplicity and peace that is the nature of trees.  See my site andreapro.com for more prints.

Pacific Island Printmaker Group Statement

     The Pacific Island Printmakers’ foray into the world of jigsaw puzzles led each of its six members into the uncharted territory of creating images using wood in a new configuration. Each member started with a 28″ x 42″ six-piece plywood jigsaw puzzle which they designed, carved and printed.  Additionally, the group collaborated on a puzzle choosing the theme of communication in the form of alphabets from around the world. 

      The collaborative project gave members an opportunity to explore their alphabet through enhancing its graphic qualities and, in some cases, adding related imagery.  After carving their puzzle pieces independently, the group came together for a day of collaboration to print the puzzle. Members were pleasantly surprised at the ease with which they arrived at the color and design choices. “Lets try this” and “I like that color” were the simple expressions that led the group to cooperate in the many decisions that resulted in the two pieces in this show, ‘Linguistic Alchemy’ and ‘Puzzling Pictographs’.  The puzzle pieces show Greek, Korean, Japanese, cuneiform, hieroglyphics and Sanskrit.   

     Most of the artists typically create prints using multiple plates to create color and richness. They found it challenging to work with only one puzzle plate. Solutions lay in printing background monoprints or woodcuts with the puzzle plate before carving images, and in using plates from other print projects.  In ‘Pieces of the Puzzle’, Kathy Molina used a light-weight Japanese paper that absorbs ink so deeply that the printed side that is visible is actually the back of the paper. This project offered the Pacific Island Printmakers abundant opportunities for new kinds of problem-solving and a fresh exploration of their medium.

     The Pacific Island Printmakers live on the island of Hawaii and include Andrea Pro, John McCaskill, Nora Yamanoha, and Kathy Molina from Kona, and Margaret Barnaby and Lisa Louise Adams from Volcano.