Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bearing Witness

A Studio Report from Caitlin Perkins, Philagrafika 2010 Program Manager

I was in Cindi Ettinger's printmaking studio this morning working on an Out of Print project for Philagrafika 2010, and while we were waiting for the artist to arrive, Cindi showed me the new package that Daniel Heyman created for his Bearing Witness print project (images below.)

First, this is a truly important body of work that he has created, and I would encourage you to visit his website to learn more at

The package, including two softcover books in a slipcase, is a stunning package weaving together his prints, paintings and writing about the war in Iraq, specifically the abuse and torture of innocent Iraqis at Abu Ghraib and other prisons.

As I flipped through the books, the bold graphic images of eagles immediately caught my eye. Incredibly, these are intaglio images printed onto plywood! Cindi pointed out to me that on the opposite wall, hanging above the inking station was a proof on paper, from this series.

Proof of etched zinc plate with spit bite text

Never one to take the easy road--Cindi explained the complicated process she developed with Daniel, to realize his project. This included selecting the "perfect" wood to serve not as the matrix, but as the surface for the printed image (this meant the most knotty plywood.) Working at Penn Campus, where the printer and artist had access to two large presses, side by side - they printed the etched zinc plate onto dampened paper and then quickly move to the second press, where the image was then transferred to the wood substrate.

Daniel will be installing these wood prints at the List Gallery for his show opening in March as part of Philagrafika 2010. Visit for more information on his solo show, Bearing Witness at the List Gallery and the Printmakers Go to War exhibition at the McCabe Library on the Swarthmore College Campus.

When Photographers are Blinded, etching on plywood, 10'x14', 2010

Bearing Witness
March 4th-April 9th, 2010
Opening reception and artist's lecture:

March 4th, 2010, 4:30-7pm

Printmakers go to War
McCabe Library, Swarthmore College
March 4–April 9, 2010
Opening reception:
March 4th, 2010, 12-1pm

Symposium: Artists in Wartime: bearing Witness/Shaping a Response
March 20th, 2010
Saturday, March 20, Noon-1 PM

List Gallery at Swarthmore College 500 College Ave. Swarthmore, PA 19081 Phone: (610) 328-7811 Web:


daniel said...

Thanks Caitlin for taking the time to write about this. I really appreciate it, and am flattered by your support.
If anyone needs more information on the Swarthmore shows, there is plenty at

daniel said...

Thanks Caitlin for taking the time to write about this. I really appreciate it.