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We Saw A Flood

By Dirk Hagner
San Juan Capistrano, California: Inkswine Press, 2022. Edition of 6.

9.5 x 15 x 3” (24 x 40.6 x 7.5 cm) closed extends to 9.5 x 64 x 1 inches (24 x 162.6 x 2.5 cm); 76 pages. 32 multi-color woodcuts, plus relief etchings and vignettes. Hand-printed on rag paper. Letterpress printed text using Cromwell and Metropolis types. Signed and numbered.

Dirk Hagner: "’We saw a flood’ is about our ignorance and complicity we exhibit in the destruction of this world brought on by human caused climate change. Its underlying verse structure is based on the anonymous 17th-century British verse ‘I saw a peacock, with a fiery tail’, an example of a nonsense or ‘trick’ poem part of a rich tradition of verses rooted in Anglo-Saxon riddles.

“This work has been a year in the making. It consists of two facing books of 76 total pages, which are to be viewed and read in tandem. The odd pages of the left-hand book show changing groups of faces with the first half of a verse, while the right-hand book show vignettes on its even pages and the corresponding second part of the verse. Both books share the back cover binding. The two-way pulling across multiple lines hints at the interconnectedness of things. The work is dedicated to those born after. Children like doing these kind of verbal splits and it is no accident that, while the topic is deadly serious, the imagery retains a sense of innocence.

“The choice and position of typefaces provide clues to the hidden order of things and allow for faster line-jumping within the couplets. Letters aid in the graphic interplay between woodcut images and the lines of type, and provide rhythm to the pages.”

We Saw A Flood

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