Living Like Weasels

Ben Szoller, Toronto, ON Canada

Information on the print: This image, the moment before a weasel counterstrikes, was hand-carved from one maple block and eight birch plywood boards, hand-printed with black and red sumi and tubed watercolour pigments. The image size is 7.5\" x 12.5\" and is printed on 9.5\" x 14.5\" handmade Masa. My first attempt at several traditional techniques, not least of all the tinted background (beta-ban) and curved gradation of the wingtips (bokashi), printing was both a pleasure and a challenge. Consequently, there are more than occasional flaws, particularly spots of unwanted pigment in the background, and some variation of colour within this run of 31 prints.

Comments from the artist: : Koson's Hawk Chasing a Rabbit in Rain and Annie Dillard's remarkable essay Living Like Weasels inspired this image. In the latter, Dillard weaves her own poetic narrative with an account from Ernest Thompson Seton, a story of a prized hunt, an eagle, felled with the skull of a weasel still clinging to its neck. It is an observer's metaphor for profound security, that it "be well, and proper, and obedient, and pure, to grasp your one necessity and not let it go, to dangle from it limp wherever it takes you." It is my hope for most, and certainly for those in times of crisis, here, our brothers and sisters in Japan.

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