Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Head The Heart The Hand: Bryn Perrott

"Friend Sleeping"  
"Wolf Jumping"
Bryn Perrott is a woodblock artist based in Morgantown, West Virginia. Drawing from the extensive visual repertoire of traditional americana tattoo imagery, she creates beautifully intricate wood carvings. I like the idea of using the visual vocabulary of tattooing for woodblock prints -- in a tattoo, black ink is carved into the skin; in a woodblock carving, the "white," negative space is carved into the wood and the ink rests gently on top. This inversion is interesting not only in a metaphoric sense, but also in a concrete, visual sense. The tattoo flash is transformed into 3-Dimensional objects with the image hovering in the foreground, rather than bleeding and merging deeper into the skin.
"Rock of Ages"
There is an incredible amount of detail in each piece (those tiny dots and swirls!) that make each one rich and satisfying. She also adds unique elements to the recognizable, traditional images--perhaps because the medium requires her to at times, but also likely because the vision she is creating only uses tattoo imagery as a point of departure...

One of the reasons I love woodblock work so much is that you can always see the artist's hand. Just observe the below image; you can see each little stroke of the carving knife in the white space. You are almost able to follow the process with your eyes, noting each dig into the surface of the wood. On the other hand, in a tattoo, all the little strokes of the artist's hand eventually blend together, while on these carvings they remain forever visible in the wood's "skin."
"Japanese cat"
"Tea Sloth"
"Russian Arms"
"Manchester United"
Perrott does custom woodblock work, and there are several examples of commissioned pieces on her tumblr site. I think this work is awesome! I hope you enjoy it too...

Until next time, fair petticoat rustlers-- keep rustling!

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