Grace Bentley-Scheck

“When viewers ask how I make my prints, a friend tells them,” It’s magic.”  Indeed, there is a magical quality to the process by which a drawing is transformed by the printmaking process into a new entity and the same image emerges from a plate each time it is inked.  Printmaking imposes limitations which govern the choice of subject and encourage  using the language of the medium to seek the essence of the subject. The daughter of a civil engineer, my fascination with the geometry of the urban space is my initial impetus in choosing subjects.  The philosopher, Gaston Bachelard, said that buildings reverberate through time.  Architecture, created by humans, is caught in the human cycle of birth, decay, and regeneration. Some buildings, like the Old State House in Boston, become stages for momentous events.  Later generations seek to experience these sites of cultural seachanges.  Other buildings shelter ordinary family or business activities and slowly adapt to social change and the natural aging process.  In urban centers, such buildings often grow out of the debris of earlier cultures or stand next to buildings preserved from an earlier time.  When the bulldozer breaks the ground of a city lot, it opens it to the future while excavating the past.

For many years, my work has dealt with architecture as space humans enclose which becomes dynamic via its passage through time.  A sense of time is clearly understood at historic sites and is also seen in the process of renovation..  Most of all, passage of time is recorded in the marks left by functional changes made in structures over many years by human design or the elements and in changing patterns of light and shadow as the sun makes its daily journey across the sky.  The process of building a collagraph plate layer by layer and the marks that result in the printing process have been evocative in expressing these subjects.” Grace Bentley-Scheck

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