Gregory Page: Motifs from the Global Backyard II

Greg Page: Motifs from the Global Backyard II, a virtual exhibition.
video / Greg Page and Christina Leung

Artist Statement

My projects and practice include lithographic print works produced utilizing a technique I discovered in 2002 and demonstrated at the Frontiers in Printmaking Conference in 2007 at Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois. I am interested in producing plant impressions allowing the plants to render an accurate physical expression. I find my practice to be in the realm of taxonomy, identification, and documentation. Using the lithographic drawing material paste and stick tusche I collect plants, dry them, and rehydrate them in a tray of the tusche. The plants are placed on a sheet of Artex film used as a drawing film in plate lithography. Once the plant material dries, I remove the plants and what's left is the impression. I collect plants from all over the world and am able to acquire a sensitive impression of these plants that I find a true collaboration in this on-going project. The plates I use are lithographic positive working aluminum plates and are printed usually in black lithographic ink. In 2013, I produced works utilizing plant material from the National Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland; Illinois State University Greenhouses; and the Cornell Botanic Gardens. In 2019, during my sabbatical leave, I produced works with plant material from my home; the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin, Ireland; and the Cornell Botanical Gardens. This exhibition includes work from all of these locations as well as two books consisting of print images of the prints and other prints from earlier works using this same technique. The works from my home were produced at my studio in Ithaca, New York. The works from Illinois State University were produced at Normal Editions Work Shop, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois. The works from Edinburgh, Scotland were produced at the Edinburgh Printmakers Studio in Edinburgh, Scotland. The works from Dublin, Ireland were produced at the Black Church Printmaking Studio in Dublin, Ireland.

This work continues to be inspired by my initial source from my visits to Rome teaching in the Cornell Rome Program of the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning.

Attracted to the architectural ornamental motifs, which I found to not only embellish the architecture but also served as reference to cultural history and, in some cases, guidance for the populace. I would actively seek out architectural motifs that I found interesting and those with horticultural subjects. Motifs from my back yard emerged as a body of work investigating horticultural specimens from my own location. 

Motifs from the Global Backyard continues this work incorporating more plants from broader locations.

As an active gardener, I have several perennial and vegetable gardens at my home. My backyard serves as a place of research where I am given the opportunity to collaborate with the plants growing there in an endless cycle of investigation, design, regeneration, and sustainability. I am interested in producing motif impressions allowing the plants to render an accurate physical expression. Using lithographic drawing materials and printing, I am able to acquire a sensitive impression of these plants that I find a true collaboration in this on-going project. The gardens in my back yard contain over 40 different perennial specimens, seven different varieties of hostas, five different varieties of trees, eleven different varieties of ornamental grasses, one cherry tree, one apple tree, raspberries, blackberries, elderberries, and five different types of bushes.

 — Gregory Page, Associate Professor of Art

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