Coming Together/Coming Apart, Teapots and Flying Saucers, Up In Smoke, Pregnant Pause

This work is about "revealing through conversation." The revelation occurs not through words, but rather, through body language. And in the absence of humans, it occurs through the space and objects left behind by its inhabitants.

The viewer steps into the midst of an intimate conversation, yet finds only silence. What appears to be a scene of domestic tranquility -- a calm on the surface -- slowly transforms into a mounting unease because, while the space is typically set for two, there is a distinct sense of being alone, of engaging someone or something that isn't there. What is left to contemplate is the aborted conversation, the miscommunication, the emptiness of words, the unspoken word. In its state of suspension, the narrative communicates a sense of waiting, wanting, and hope. It speaks about the expectations, the potential, and the psychological tensions that exist within that single moment of time.

Technical Overview
These prints weave together digital and traditional technologies by integrating 3D modeling, 2D imaging, and non-toxic etching techniques through the following process:

1. Each image begins as a 3D computer-generated model. The scene is modeled digitally so as to remove the artist's hand from the "drawing," thereby charging the image with an emotional distance.

2. After the modeling is complete, the rendering is imported into Photoshop, where scanned patterns, 2D elements, and distortions of space are added and manipulated, giving a further twist to the image's sense of logic.

3. The image is then separated into the four process colors used in commercial printing (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black), and each layer is printed onto a transparency. These transparencies are exposed onto photopolymer etching plates, which are then hand-printed in the traditional intaglio manner.

The polymer multiple-plate printing technique results in an intensity of color that is unachievable with traditional etching. Furthermore, this printing method retains the original image's pixels, thereby producing a soft, slightly grainy surface that accentuates the overall nostalgic tone.

Janet Ballweg
Bowling Green State University
Jballwe (at)