-Ashtavakra Gita 11:1
This is my favorite work by one of my favorite contemporary woodcut printmakers, Marissa Swinghammer, or M. Lee. Her art blog can be found here, and her Etsy store can be found here. The print measures 15"x11" - a humble size for an image that contains cosmic contemplations. M. Lee is a master of layered, color woodcuts. All of her prints emphasize the grain and natural texture of the wood in translucent layers of color, and the stunning final products lyrically move the eye around and possess an ethereal quality.
Perhaps this is why this image of Kali is my favorite. Kali is the Hindu Goddess of destruction. Not destruction in the sense of angry or mindless demolition, but in the sense that all things in life are transient. The Goddess's flowing hair seems to move in front of a background teeming with life in the throws of death - falling yellow leaves, faded bark... The wide variety of organic marks contained in her locks remind me of layers of sediment, layers of time recording generation upon generation of organisms. Her eyes and arms both stretch in opposite directions, rigorously moving forward while reaching back. Though we can see through her, the Goddess is bold and determined. Her work presses on, eternal.