Knee to the West (2017-18)
screen print on mulberry paper mounted to Rives BFK
For the past seven years, I have been traveling to South Korea to study Hanji, which is a mulberry paper described to last over 1,000 years. I am deeply inspired by its strength and cultural significance, especially its wide-ranging applications in scholarly, utilitarian, domestic, and spiritual practices. I use it to reverently render and preserve seemingly ephemeral details of Milwaukee’s built environment. Paper collages from the series “Inbound East” emerged from an ongoing practice of charting the Milwaukee cityscape with students, friends, and neighbors.
Walking is not a solitary activity for this purpose, rather a means to intuitively map, gather, observe, sketch, photograph and discuss ideas of place, the built environment and its impact on our collective identity. Walks begin from a range of locations within the city and continue inbound (east) toward Lake Michigan. During each journey I actively record what I see by means of sketching and photographing visual specimens, such as; fieldstone walls, composite fiberboard lap siding, rooftops, decking, and cedar shake. Elements are then screen printed then cut, rearranged, transformed, folded, and reimagined into a variety of paper expressions.
© Jessica Meuninck-Ganger