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stephanie mercado absence presence monoprint

Immigration Project

Immigration Project is a collaborative printmaking project on migration organized by the LA Printmaking Society. Artists were invited to create a 15” right-angle triangular print on the complicated and layered theme of migration.

Migration in the natural world is an annual ritual for wildlife. Each season migrations sustains wildlife populations and supports others, connecting flora and fauna. There are also migrations that occur as reactions to disasters, from crisis, fear, hunger, political upheaval or war, with whole populations suddenly becoming refugees, endangered, homeless, and immigrant. The impact of change and transition on the environment, on culture, language and on history, is an eternal process that begins with the process of migration.

Participating artists were asked to create 15” right-angle triangular prints. These triangles will be pieced together, regardless of orientation, to create one large mosaic print.

The collaboration explores an innovative and creative  participation, as well as present visually the conceptual migration of themes and ideas, interactions and interpretations, as the individual becomes part of the whole.

The Immigration Project titled Perspectives from the West will be on view at the Union Gallery in University of North Texas, March 3rd – March 15, 2019 for the Southern Graphics Council International conference. The print project is scheduled to travel to La Scuola Internazionale di Grafica, Venezia Italia and Puerto Rico in 2020.

Image above: 
Absence, Presence (1), 2019
hand-printed, relief print collage 
15 x 21” 

Absence Presence, 2019 monoprint 15 x 21" Immigration Print Project Texchange SGCI2019 Souther Graphics Council International
Artist’s Statement:  Remnants of migrants’ belongings scattered across the border serve as artifacts, giving insight to migrants’ identities. Items left behind are a documentation of flight, fear, loss, determination, resilience, presence and absence. American products like Snickers bars and Coca-Cola bottles are glimpses of the American Dream they have been sold. They’re sold the American Dream, but denied the opportunity to pursue it. 
Absence, Presence (1), 2019 relief print collage 15 x 21" Immigration Project, SGCI2019, Texchange

Absence, Presence (2), 2019
hand-printed, relief print collage 
15 x 21” 

Absence, Presence are collages constructed with individually hand-printed relief prints.
Each individual shoe, pack pack, tin can, water bottle, clothing and toiletry was hand printed on hand-made Thai Unryu paper from a hand carved relief block. The elements are based on items left behind by immigrants captured in documentary and journalist photographs found online. 

hand-printed, individually incised, collage elements