• Random

    Photogravure etchings at www.kamprint.com and http://kamprint.com/xpress/

    Photogravure etchings at www.kamprint.com and http://kamprint.com/xpress/

  • Subscribe to Blog via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Random

    Photogravure etchings at http://kamprint.com/ & http://kamprint.com/xpress/

    Photogravure etchings at http://kamprint.com/ & http://kamprint.com/xpress/

  • Translate

Titles

Ideally, the graphic arts work their magic without words. They bypass verbal understanding and reach directly into the emotional centers of perception. But some people demand explanations of even the inexplicable. They want to contextualize, rationalize, process. The best titles, though, don’t do that. Instead they initiate the viewer into another world, the world of the print. Like poetry, they use words to go beyond words. Often the title once arrived at through intense thought-association appears obvious, as if pre-destined.

Leaf-whispers started as a search for poetic associations of ‘leaves’. Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and Song of Myself contain numerous leaf-references involving communication between himself and vegetation, but none short enough for a print title. Spring festivals feature various characters covered in leaves, and there is the Millais painting of Ophelia

Ophelia

Ophelia

covered in leaves, but these suggest burial or death, not what I had in mind for an image of living leaves. Then there is the role of leaves in divination and prophecy, such as the Sibylline leaves of ancient Greece and Persia. This seemed closer to the mark, as I wanted to suggest some sort of message to be divined from the rustling of the leaves in the wind, some confidence being confided to the listener. I thought of ‘Whispering Leaves’, but this sounded like the name of a down-at-heels B&B. It took me a while to to think of the singular ‘leaf’ and to couple that with ‘whispers’ — that sounds exactly right.
Leaf-whispers

Leaf-whispers

With Mind the Gap, at first, descriptive terms like ‘rocks and trees’, such as are used in Chinese ink-brush painting, occurred to me. One of the Chinese ink-brush paintings I looked at was entitled ‘Rivers and Mountains Without End’, and that idea seemed to resonate with the islands disappearing into the mist, and the suggestion of a limitless, though ethereal expanse. But what would ‘islands without end’ mean? Perhaps instead of highlighting the islands themselves, the image is about the spaces around them — the gap. The apparently empty space embodies form and gives shape to what it surrounds. But just ‘the gap’ seemed too abrupt, not to mention redolent of a clothing store. What is the significance of the gap? How are we to think of it? Think of it, consider it, of course! — Mind the Gap. That’s what the conductor tells you when getting on or off the train. It’s also a reminder of the void that awaits us, awareness of which makes the present more vital.

Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap

The persistence of autumn grasses in midwinter suggested the co-existence of seasons in time, encompassing an entire cycle of growth, decay, and rebirth in one scene. The pattern also suggested musical staves, and at the same time, a kind of calligraphy: ‘Notes’, as if Nature had hastily scribbled some messages from seasons past. The notion of recollection inherent in these contemporaneous seasons prompted ‘last time’, as in ‘remember the last time we did such and such a thing?’ or ‘remember when this snow-covered field was green with fresh grass?’ Remembrance of the cycle of seasons implies that the sequence will be repeated, that we will have another and yet another opportunity to revisit the scene anew. All of these meanings coalesce in Notes From Last Time.

Notes From Last Time

Notes From Last Time

Printed from: http://www.kamprint.com/views/?p=718 .
© Peter Miller 2019.