The tension between opposite forces is an important element in the fine art of printmaking. From the mirror image of the finished print pulled from its originating form or plate, through the processes of thinking and imaging backwards and negotiating the unexpected, this is so. Even the oppositional pressure of the press itself-whether mechanical or human hand-is the uniting of dual forces, opposing and unconnected.

These contradictions of printmaking also mirror the opposition, the disconnectedness, and indeed, chaos that one experiences in soul making. To become rooted in human life and to flower in spirit life one cannot avoid conflict and the antithetical. Yet through engagement with these oppositional and unconnected forces one may find the opportunity to experience meaning, order, and ultimately paradoxical and mysterious union. In printmaking and soul making I have found such opportunities.

I have chosen printmaking and soul making (as matter and spirit respectively they are also oppositional) to be a single arena, a kind of laboratory for my engagement with the contradictions of my experience. The GOD DOG Book of Hope for the Disconnected is reflective of the paradoxical and mysterious union born of my struggle to creatively hold the tensions between these forces while allowing for the emerging oneness. The work is a tangible souvenir of my experience of the oneness, my struggle with the perceived contradictions.

The motivation for this work is first my individual quest for divine meaning in my life, and second to share what I have found. This process has engaged my will, my thought and my imagination. It has been an experience of active contemplation. I hope that individual viewers will be drawn into a similar process: holding the tensions of their perceived contradictions, ultimately participating in their own experience of emerging oneness, and discovering unique and unrepeatable meanings for themselves. This is the experience I invite. In this way art refreshes the soul making community. Its source is mystery. It is not fixed. It lives and moves as it will.

Click here to view the exhibit.

Jenifer Hartsfield (Pichinson)
All Saints’ Episcopal Church
Corpus Christi, Texas