Melissa Harshman: Word Play

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  • ©,



    Word Play


Creation Year:




Artist Statement:

    For the last five years, I have been exploring ways to incorporate digital images into traditional printmaking practices. Thus far, I have used serigraphy, Xerox transfer to traditional litho plates, Pronto industrial litho offset plates, and, most recently, photo positive and negative litho plates.

    My current body of work, entitled Word Play, was inspired by a digital portfolio I was invited to be in, called Pictionary. The only requirement was that the image had to contain either a dictionary image or an encyclopedia image. I especially liked using the dictionary image and started my hunt for old dictionaries at flea markets and antique stores. Each of the images in “Word Play” began by scanning an image that appealed to me from an old dictionary. I have now expanded the source materials to items such as coloring books and a variety of children’s workbooks. The image is then embellished and layered with other images, such as cookbook recipes, cakes, children’s doodles, and other eclectic pictures to create new meanings and translations of familiar images. In this work, my focus has specifically been geared toward identity issues surrounding women. Some of the images are completely whimsical, while others have underlying political content. My goal was to create images that were aesthetically pleasing and conceptually significant, often playing off the meaning of the chosen image.

Affiliation Where Artwork Was Created:

    University of Georgia