So, today I've been working on my reinterpretation of 'War and Peace (1951)' by Picasso. I've been really enjoying it, it's good to have a project on the go again. The more I work on it the more I'm convinced that we picked a good piece to interpret: it has clear themes that can be interpreted in lots of different ways. It also has the feel of a sketch, a rough before a final piece; which suits this project perfectly- it's like we've been given an empty box of Quality Street and it's up to us to fill it with chocolates (hope that makes sense).
Anyway, I've been getting really into woodcuts over the past few months; particularly German Expressionist Woodcuts. Kathe Kollwitz is an artist that I really admire, I think she makes perfect use of the medium; using the blocks of solid black ink as darkness, and the the elements that she carves away as the light poking through. 'Darkness' is certainly the word to use when describing her work, it is incredibly disturbing and distressing. I find that her work is the kind that divides people; some people get it and really like it; some people find it too austere and depressing. Which is understandable, these pieces are about as dark as art can get; it's as if Kollwitz is testing us, to see how much we can take. How far do we dare stare into the abyss? To me though, these pieces are as beautiful as they are bleak; there is a truth and a sincerity to them which I think is always to be admired.