Gayle Wohlken

'Coleman Dances Mikki Home'

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Artist's comments ...

Black oil based ink on kitakata paper. The carving was done on poplar wood.

When I first thought of this idea it was for a Day of the Dead exhibit for Lake Erie College. I made just one print and that was it. However, when it was time to come up with ideas for Exchange #3, I couldn't help thinking of death again, since my mother had just died. I pulled out the print to have a look and realized the straw hat on death was like the hat my uncle wore the last time I saw him. My mother had been very close to her brother (Coleman) and he had already died a number of years ago. So, when I renewed this print for the exchange, I titled it this because I saw Uncle Cole as Death dancing my mother (Mikki) out the door.

Viewer feedback ... (Gayle's reponses in italics)

Praise: I really like the way the gouge strokes make the bones, very skeletal feel, & how instead of a negative space, here the white is positive, in the fore.

Suggestions: I think the gouge strokes in the background, left & right, would fade back more if done with a different size or texture, than the rest of the print

The reason I did the strokes this way is that I wanted the death scene to include the background because of the transition of life to death. I wanted the whole image to be melded into one event.

Comments: Funny how themes appear in an exchange, and maybe with the millennium. I think of Holbein's 'Dance of Death' to a mariachi beat. Very nice (& I really like having two of the hat series-- they play off each other).

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