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Printing With Purpose

(June 2009) posted on Wed Jun 10, 2009

Using Flatbed and other digital-print technologies to make a statement.

click an image below to view slideshow

By Clare Baker

How does someone express the idea that our fragile environment is in trouble? Scientists and researchers use numbers and statistics to communicate this point. Activists and politicians may relate a story full of detail and examples to get their statement across. Fine artists, often without those same communication tools, often create artwork that visually speaks to the subject matter.

Artist Dorothy Simpson Krause did just this with her recent exhibition “Losing Ground”—a visual commentary on how the effects of a growing global population and global warming are causing a figurative and literal loss of ground.

For the exhibition, Krause produced 19 wide-format pieces using a trio of printers: an EFI Vutek PressVu 200/600 UV flatbed, an HP Designjet Z3100, and an Epson Stylus Pro 9600. She integrated several artists’ books into the exhibition, as well, which were printed on an HP Indigo digital press 5500, among others. This past May, the exhibition was shown as part of the Boston Cyberarts Festival at the South Shore Art Center, the end result comprising 19 wide-format prints that each have a distinctly different look, but come together to make a cohesive collection and powerful statement on the beauty of nature.

Capture and scan work
Krause began her work on “Losing Ground” nearly two years ago, although creating art with an environmental slant has been something she’s been doing for the past several years. “For about four years now, I’ve been working on things related to the land.” In addition to addressing global warming, Krause says her work has also focused on building projects that encroach on green spaces.

For “Losing Ground,” Krause began by taking photographs and creating paintings of landscapes and scenes in nature. With each photo and painting, Krause wanted to convey the beauty and preciousness of the environment. For example, in Saquish, Krause captured the sand dunes of Saquish Beach in Massachusetts. The fence in the image, she explains, is put up as a barrier to keep sand from blowing and to help secure the dunes. “It’s a beautiful place to live. I just hope people begin to more deeply appreciate the beauty of their own surroundings.”