Saturday, April 22, 2017

"Hazel" by John Biggers

I wanted to post on this blog in honor of Earth Day. I started my search broadly and historically, looking at wood engravings depicting some of the first heliocentric depictions of the earth from Europe. But that felt too heady for today's mood.

You see, my husband took our older daughter to Philadelphia's March for Science - one of over 400 marches in 35 countries, in support of public policies that are supported by evidence-based research. I spent the early part of today engaging our 5-year-old (who is adverse to large crowds) with simple, colorful experiments with chemistry, circuits, and crystal growing.

After giving up on woodcuts of the entire planet, I began looking at the great woodblock printmakers of color landscapes, such as Walter J. Phillips and Hiroshi Yoshida. But while I observed much breathtaking imagery, it still all felt too detached for the day.

After quite a while, I finally rested on this amiable woodcut of a small girl in a floral-pattern dress, among tall flowers, by John Biggers. She walks away from us, and so it is as if we are her guardian, delighting over her movements while watching over and keeping her safe. She is so small an individual, and yet she can represent so much that our hearts ache with a mix of wonder, joy, and fear.

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