Infernally Pressed

Infernally Pressed

This was intended to be a triptych, yet it all went a tad pear shaped. The end result is not what I had envisioned yet I am still intrigued with the process and its qualities. 

I have been keenly interested in Dante Alighieri’s epic ‘The Divine Comedy’ for some time, what drew me to this piece of literature initially was Gustave Dore’s illustrations. 

The text that runs across the pieces are hand letter-pressed by hammering the lead type directly into pre-soaked Fabriano Paper. Aside from the hammer part this technique is referred to as ‘Blind Pressing’ as no ink was used; hence a very seductive textual impression has been formed into the stock. 

I did attempt some illustrative pencil/ink/watercolour work onto the paper afterwards, this was the stage that went askew. In the end I attacked them with a rubber, scouring brush and then just flicked the watercolour brushes at them. Once they had dried I hurriedly inked around the blotches until some abstraction had formed.

Paradiso XIX 7-9
And what I have now to report
No voice has ever spoken, no ink written,
Nor any imagination comprehended:
Dante 1
Dante 2 Dante 3 Dante 5
Details 01-03

Purgatorio XXXII 151-153
And as if to ensure that no man carried her off,
I saw a giant beside her, standing upright;
And from time to time they kissed one another.
Dante 4
Dante 6 Dante 7 Dante 8
Details 01-03

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