|"Ponder" no. 3/12. Reduction Woodblock. 30x37 Rose Hirano, 2009.|
When our friend Patrick opened up his art gallery a couple of years ago in Kingston, he featured a wonderful artist named Rose Hirano, who concentrates mostly on producing exquisite reduction woodblock prints.
We loved all of the pieces in the exhibit but one spoke to both of us so powerfully that we coveted it immediately. It was called "Ponder" and it resonated with us so profoundly.
Unfortunately, we were unable to purchase the print due to life circumstances, and we just assumed that it was lost to us. But then Patrick moved his gallery to Toronto and featured Hirano in a show in March 2012. By then we had also moved to Toronto and I went into the gallery a few days before the opening and put our names on the print.
It was a surprise purchase, meant to be given to Mark on our anniversary, August 15. Patrick kindly kept the work for us and I somehow managed to keep the secret under wraps for the past 6 months. There were a few others in on the plan, but my big worry was how to get the print into our apartment without Mark knowing.
The saving grace came in the form of a 2 1/2 day recruitment conference that Mark attended August 15-17; the very same conference that we met at 11 years ago! So, with Mark conveniently away for two nights Patrick kindly delivered our new work and I installed in in our living room that night.
Reduction woodcut is a multi-inking process, printing from light to dark values using a single piece of wood. Each image averages 10 to 12 colour layers. Hirano explained at the opening that it is a methodical and very meditative process, and that while there are more than one print in each series (in this case she did a run of 12) each is actually unique as they are done by hand and have their own distinctness. As the woodblock is literally reduced in the process there is no way for it to be re-used and she destroys it afterwards.
So, when Mark came home on Friday afternoon he was treated to a wonderful new surprise addition to our home--a stunning work of art of which we are proud to be its stewards.