Editor’s Note: The following is an artist statement by Tammy Harrington. She will present her latest show Reactions: Visual Words on March 4-31 in the Stephens Gallery, located in the Walton Fine Arts Center at the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville. A reception will be held on Friday, March 4, 2016, from 7-8 pm. – Kody Ford
Reactions: Visual Words
During my sabbatical, I worked on a collaborative print series, Reactions: Visual Words. My artwork, Enigma, was the starting point of a creative conversation that I had with ten of my colleagues. These colleagues come from a variety of academic areas and my intent was to interact across the disciplines, a cross-curricular experience. These colleagues come from the academic areas of Art, English, Philosophy, Sociology, Psychology, Business, Communications, Education, Music, and Religion. The participants were William R. Eakin, Elizabeth Gabbard, Sharon Gorman, Joel Hagaman, Brian Hardman, Dawn Holder, Greta Marlow, Michael McManus, Deb Sisson, and Jesse Weiss. Each faculty member reacted to the visual imagery of my print, Enigma, and responded in a written format (poetry or prose) using 50 words or less in length. From there, I interpreted the writings and created a new print/artwork that incorporated the responsive writing into the artwork composition.
My focus was to have the written word lead the creative direction of the artwork. The subject matter, tone, mood, and style may be vastly different from print to print. I looked forward to the stretching of my artistic boundaries and test to my creativity. In addition to the printmaking techniques of relief and intaglio, I hand set metal type and printed the text on a Vandercook letterpress for this project. The intense pace of creating ten artworks in a 4 – 6 month time frame was a challenge to me since I tend work at a more measured and methodical pace. The creative cycle has come full circle because I have created ten new collaborative prints that relate to my original artwork. Looking back at the experience, I am excited about the results and can already feel the influence on my own thematic work and style.
I would like to thank my colleagues for their participation in this series. I am enriched by their words and energy.