And, falling on my weary brain,
Like a fast-falling shower,
The dreams of youth came back again,
Low lispings of the summer rain,
Dropping on the ripened grain,
As once upon the flower.
Visions of childhood! Stay, O stay!
Ye were so sweet and wild!
And distant voices seemed to say,
"It cannot be! They pass away!
Other themes demand thy lay;
Thou art no more a child!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, excerpt from Voices of the Night
Childhood is when we form our views of the world, relationships, and of ourselves. The impact of those beliefs carries over onto the next generation, influencing the relationships between one generation and the next. Most of the time this is a harmless effect, even beneficial. Words or events, both positive and negative, can shape our idea of who we are, of our strengths and weaknesses, impacting us for years. Exploring the relationship between events and beliefs formed in one childhood, and its trickling down through the generations, is an idea that has stuck, and though it takes many shapes (from climate change to emotional abuse), forms the core of my artistic content and influences the bulk of my work.
A recent example, “The New Normal” series, explores a range of contemporary environmental changes. “Jellyfish Ice Cream I & II” deals with the proliferation of giant jellyfish in the Sea of Japan, impacting the diversity of the ocean waters. Though older generations will remember it as it was, small children who grow up with this “new normal” will only have a dim sense of what’s been lost, perhaps envisioning it as they enjoy a bowl of jellyfish ice cream.
Angela Purviance is becoming known for her vibrant color intaglio prints, which generally feature children in narratives that could be described as magical realism. Her topics blend her interests and backgrounds. For over ten years, she was an elementary art instructor, working with children. More recently, during the past 3 years, Angela has worked in wildlife rehabilitation. These experiences, in how both children and the environment are impacted through generations, have shaped her worldview and provide endless content for her work. During recent years, she has been privileged to work with Professor Yuji Hiratsuka at Oregon State University, which has had a profound impact on her choice of medium, opening up a new world of technical and artistic challenges, color copperplate etching. Angela has set up a home studio, having researched, innovated, and implemented less toxic printmaking methods. Intaglio is an adventure, intellectually and artistically challenging. Playing with the possibilities that it offers promises to keep Angela engaged for years to come.