STILLPOINT Archive: last updated 05/25/2012

Woodblocks and the Word

By Hilary Sherratt ’12

Hannah Strauss’s final project for her Printmaking course was to create three pieces that were connected. She chose 9 x 12 woodblocks as her medium, and three Gordon College professors— Graeme Bird (left), Emmanuelle Vanborre (right) and Moises Park, all Languages and Linguistics colleagues—as her subject matter. She asked them: "How does the Incarnation change the way we think about immigration and cross-cultural experiences?"

Hannah and the professors ended up talking about everything from jazz clubs in Boston to French culture to immigration law. The professors also shared their reflections on the importance of language and culture in how we know Christ. "There is a whole history, culture and relationship with Christianity in a language," says Hannah. "I was intrigued by these conversations, and I want to explore this theme further."

Of the actual process, Hannah says, "There’s something tangible and organic about carving wood. It’s meditative and physical." Carving away wood gave her time to think about the faces she was carving. "It’s a beautiful way to know someone’s face, to bring it out of the wood, which has a character of its own. I got to dwell on who the professors are, and on how the Word took the form of a Person."

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