Willemijn Bouman
visual artist
designer
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ABOUT MY WOODBLOCK PRINTS

History:
This story is about a series of woodblock prints. I use trunks of oak wood which are 8000 years old. These very old trunks were dragged from the river the Waal in the area of Nijmegen (the Millingerwaard) in 1997. The projectleader of the World Nature Fund gave me permission, to select some pieces to use for my graphic artwork. Other pieces were brought to the archeological museum and went to institutions for climatological research. The remaining trunks have been erected as a beacon of historical interest on the river-bank next to the river the Waal, where they were found.

Method:
The oaks were conserved in the mud of the river bed and kept in perfect condition for 8000 years. Therefore, they are still useful for the woodprint technique. I made six woodcuts on the cross-section of an oak trunk. Because the wood was cut with a chainsaw, on the print you can find the tree structure with the year rings, as well as my design and the serrated edge.
The woodprints are a combination of two handmade prints, which were washed in with copper powder. The inner print is carved from an oak trunk, the outer from industrial wood.
On each surface I carved the top-view drawing of columns and towers of several famous and historic buildings through the ages: Stonehenge, Parthenon, St. Peter (Rome), Gunbad-i-Qabus and Sagrada Familia.

...The interesting part is that the pieces of wood, that carry the columns are much older than any of the historic buildings, therefore this is a conceptual gesture to aged and still remaining historical objects...

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