Blixen interpretation and foam-print

By Tanja Maria Laugesen

April 25th & 27th  – Susanne Skou Kristensen & Jacob Buris – “workshop on Blixen”

These days were divided into two separate workshops and so were the students. I started with the text “the roads of life” by Karen Blixen. Unfortunately this part of my day hasn’t been documented that well, but we worked with the text, talking about what the text was signalling and what the meaning of it could be. Besides the overall structure of the story and the impact on the reader, we worked in groups trying to sum up the meaning of the text in a single sentence. Our group came up with something along the line of “The outcome of your struggles are not always clear”. In our group, we had very different views on what message the story was trying to convey, everything from struggles and overcoming them, destiny to unforeseen events and life’s unpredictability was discussed. After this workshop on the text itself, we moved to the arts and crafts room, where we were asked to come up with a visual representation of the story. We then had to make a print templet in foam, using a printing press to transfer the image onto paper. All the talk of struggles an overcoming them, had me thinking of something “two-faced”; the good and the bad like yin and yang. First, I thought of actually doing a path with some kind of obstacles, but I couldn’t get a perspective in my drawing that could display my ideas as a whole. Instead, I was drawn to the idea of a plant, of which on one end was thorny and harsh, and on the other end blooming with leaves and flowers. By the time I had cut out the print templet, we were running out of time, so I only managed to do two black prints, one on carton and one on newspaper. The carton proved to be too thick to get the visuals of the templet in details. The newspaper print turned out better though, so this is the one I’ve uploaded for you.

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It might be a bit difficult to make out, but in the thorny end of the plant, a stick figure is hanging from one of the thorns, either about to fall or pulling himself up, depending on how you look at it. There was actually supposed to be another stick figure standing victoriously at the other end in one of the flowers, as to show overcoming his struggle, but the foam templet ended up being too fragile in the area of the flower, and since the time was ticking, I decided to just leave him out.

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