Ghost at UPenn Printmaking


Matt Neff is the area head of printmaking at the University of Pennsylvania and runs Common Press. He gladly took up our challenge and incorporated the Ghost Confluence into his undergraduate printmaking class this semester. He describes how in generous detail his project plan below, as well as many great examples of the students response. Becca_Tennenbaum1

The prompt:

First, I uploaded the “Ghost” reading list and additional resources to our class website. Then we looked through the suggested readings and picked one to use as a starting point to begin developing content and imagery for a print. I asked that they find an additional source outside of the reading list, and allow this additional text, image, artist’s work, film, video, or sound piece to influence/complicate their image making.  Then, we met to discuss the readings and additional source material and in class and each student prepared a short presentation outlining their research and image making strategies.

The first part of the screen printing assignment required each student to make a 3-layer screen print activating different types of image making for each printed layer. These prints were then printed in a variable edition, with an emphasis on approaching different media substrates. The final phase of the project involved rethinking and restructuring prints and printing a small edition.

Below are a few examples of the student’s project statements:

Emily Belshaw:

Evidence simultaneously describes the absence and presence of something or someone. Using it, we can prove that we were once here, but not anymore. ‘Ghost’ is a reflection on that duality. By linking illegible, dizzying text with corporal material like wax and oil, each piece of evidence in ‘Ghost’ links to a human presence while confusing it. We are left with only traces and fragments of an indecipherable past that preserve the identity of the presence they hide.

Charles Wang:

Drawing inspiration from traditional tattoo flash and the commonly associated religious subjects, I wanted to investigate the intersection between permanence and ghostliness By simplifying the composition and pushing the religious connotations of the subject matter, I aim to elicit an immediate reaction and lasting dialogue.

Lainie Bailey:

Descriptive text can create a very clear picture in the mind of the reader, but is often very different from the interpretations of others. In The Mezzotint by M.R. James, many readers created imagery based on the description of a manor house. I collected together these spooky building images to create work that investigates how the mind often creates incomplete imagery from text.

Class participants:

Chi Aguwa, Lainie Bailey, Emily Belshaw, Tighe Costa, Sharla Marie Dyess, Yaochi Jin, Hannah Morse, Becca Tennenbaum, Charles Wang, Di Wang, Jie Xu, and Patrick Yu




















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