Beth Grabowski's "traditional" contribution to the portfolio is entitled "Ghost."
The artist refers to both her works (see next portfolio entry) and states: My first impulse for this assignment was to question my own reasons for working with a particular print method. Most of the time, process choices are governed by the ideas that I am working with, rather than a desire to work in a specific media. Beyond seeing any particular process as a tool to get the image out, I strive to integrate process and content and choose approaches that hopefully extend, announce or complicate meaning.
With this pair of prints, I wanted them to exist in conversation with each other. The prints both utilize small plastic frames that once held components for a snap-together set of toy motorcycles. I was captivated by the layers of signification contained in these simple plastic pieces. In a collapsed moment, they contained a nostalgic contemplation of childhood, consternation at the insidious tropes of male identity formation, and a component of loss within my own evolving maternal identity.
The digital print presents the elements objectively and poetically. We read ghost, vertigo, behemoth and maelstrom; charged words that imply emotional turmoil in opposition to the absence of imagery and quiet composition. The analog print uses the elements as a matrix to create an atmosphere of burnt haze. Here the shapes are completely divorced from their original context, existing as enigmatic traces of a lost purpose. The word behemoth is embossed over the surface, almost mute unless revealed in a raking light.