Thursday, September 01, 2022

Monoprint Collages by Rosemary Cooley at Washington Printmakers Gallery

Dream Forest: Chance Meeting - Monoprint Collages by Rosemary Cooley

October 1 – 30, 2022 at at Washington Printmakers Gallery

1641 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington DC

Opening reception: Saturday, October 1 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Washington Printmakers presents artworks of Rosemary Cooley, in her fifth solo exhibition at the gallery. Her painterly monoprints and collages reflect thoughts from the unconscious mind, a personal archeology based on a lifetime of world travel and cross cultural experiences, coupled with a love of art history and the materials of art making. 

As a printmaker who has long honored process as a road to product, she now delves into the Jungian concept that one must disentangle from the Ego, and work intuitively, to reach a more powerful path.

In this exhibit, the artist celebrates notions of Individuation, of finding one’s unique personality apart from societal expectations. The Celebration of the Collective Unconscious, in which there are symbols which mankind has repeated throughout ages and over countless cultures, also plays a strong role. 

The artworks are created from torn and cut monoprints, all hand pulled from an inked polymer plate onto various archival papers, ranging from thick to thin. This is where the Dream Forest begins, and where certain unexpected, even disparate entities come together to form a new sensory reality. 

Unconscious thoughts spill into the real world in the form of landscapes, still lifes and abstract designs as monoprint pieces combine with old script, found in world markets, are transferred onto thin Japanese papers and added to the works. Often the work is sharpened with watercolor painting. And as a final step, Cooley's fascination with medieval manuscript illuminations is reflected in accents of 23k gold leaf.

This chance meeting of unrelated entities somehow creates a new reality when pasted down. As Jung said, “Often the hands know how to solve a riddle with which the intellect has wrestled in vain.”