Reflecting on Sinopah
In Sacred Mountains of the World, Author Edwin Bernbaum states, “when an artist chooses to paint a mountain in an awe-inspiring manner, he automatically calls forth such images from the repository of his own tradition and juxtaposes them with the image of the peak (p.226).” As an artist depicting mountains, I often call upon my scientific background in mountain geography in the interest of accuracy, and out of respect for the processes that make a mountain look uniquely the way it does. As Bernbaum states, this is a process of drawing upon “images from the repository of [my] own tradition”, that tradition being my scientific background. I argue that this process of artistically depicting mountains, through the lens of mountain science, is an act of respect and reverence. This process also reflects my dedication to the scientific tradition as a way of knowing, understanding, and loving mountains.
This piece is an intaglio etching of the mountain Sinopah, which sits on the western shore of Two Medicine Lake in Glacier National Park. I chose to depict the mountain using intaglio etching because it is an intensely analytical process that requires knowledge of chemical processes involving copper and ferric acid. This analytical process, however, is used as a form of expression. This piece is a vertical mirror image of Sinopah. The vertical mirror image is a departure from the realism present in the rest of the print. I did this to juxtapose the originally 'scientifically accurate' representation of the mountain, with the resulting 'inaccurate' representation to highlight the interplay between accuracy and expression. I seek to draw a parallel between the process of intaglio and the process of science, to show that science, though analytical and technical, is a way through which we express our selves and our relationships to our world.
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Intaglio Etching on Paper