Place and Process

Place and Process is a series which follows the advice to “make what you know.” Like books about readers and writers, these prints about printmakers are what they are about. For this reason, the project always felt like a series of self-portraits—though in this case, not of people, but rather of a process. The square format and carefully constructed compositions which train the eye to thinking heads and working hands focus the viewer on the engines of this process. When drafting the images, I often looked to tactics of Vermeer, using the background and geometric areas of color to focus attention on key places in the image. While the subjects are quiet and intent on their work, these prints are meant to be viewed the way an observer in the printshop would watch a printer at work, notice how she uses her hands, the geometric precision of the machine, how artist and machine work in sync.

EllenHeck_LetterpressAndTheLight