Friday, June 10, 2005

Joel Elgin


This is my favorite print from my professor Joel Elgin. Joel Elgin was a student of Mauricio Lasansky. Printmaking was always a challenge for me, but eventually the gods granted me access into the world, and now I am enchanted with printmaking. Joel Elgin is the most influential person in my life. He emits his passion for intaglio printmaking onto all of his students. He guides them spiritually and technically in the print shop he refers to as the shop of love.

Oenghus is the son of the water spirit Boann and Dagda, the chief of Ireland’s gods… the giver of life and the bestower of all bounties. Oneghus dreamed of a beautiful young woman each night for over a year. He became so enchanted, so obsessed that he began to waste away from lack of food. Boann sent her people to search Ireland for the woman who visited Oenghus in his dreams. For a year they searched and failed while Oneghus became weaker. Bodb, the king of all the Sidhe (those who live in the fairy mounds, invisible to humans, where the gods have their homes) was summoned and within a year he discovered the woman at Lough Beul Draguin, at the Harp of Cliach. Oenghus rushed to discover the woman and at the Lough’s edge he saw “thrice fifty” women linked in pairs with silver chains. Among them was the woman who appeared in his dreams. She alone wore a necklace of gold. Bodb told Oenghus that her name was Caer, the daughter of Ethal Anbual, from the fairy dwelling of Uaman in Connacht. Oenghus was forbidden to speak to her until he was granted permission by Medb and Aiill, the King of Connacht. Medb and Ailill informed Dagda and Boann that they had no power over Caer’s father, Ethan Anabual, who refused to allow his daughter to marry the son of Dagda. Medb and Ailill sent soldiers to destroy the home of Ethan Anbual and to bring him back in chains. Even in chains he refused to turn over his daughter, saying that she and her maidens suffered from an enchantment which forced them to reside in the shape of swans for one year and in their own forms the following year. He told Oenghus to return to the Lough the following summer to see the truth. Ethan Anbual was believed to be sincere and was released. The following summer Oenghus returned to the Lough and saw “thrice fifty” swans on the water, each wore silver chains, and one wore a circlet of gold. Oenghus called to Caer to come to the bank of the Lough and speak with him. She agreed if he promised to allow her to return to the water, if she wished. He made his promise and she swam over and laid her head in his lap. Oenghus turned himself into a swan and they glided together three times around the Lough.. They then flew to Dagda’s palace and as they flew they sang so sweetly that all who heard were lulled into a sleep that lasted for three days and three nights.

"The rich history of my Celtic roots drives me to explore the numerous myths, mysteries and truths that exist in the forms of text and image. To know my past I have traveled three times to Ireland and each time been lost in the mist that exists between myth and truth.
I have become influenced (enchanted) by the colors, textures, smells, sounds and tastes of Ireland. Each myth and legend I discover through reading, then through actual physical exploration of the site demands the creation of a new print. The production of the print furthers my process of learning specific information and yet at the same time opens, more fully, the vein that connects me to my Irish heritage.
I have learned each moment I devote to researching mythology, icons, or wandering Irish ruins strengthens my deep respect and homage for my ancestry. The prints I create are a reflection of this respect."-Joel Elgin

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