Work in progress

A look at student projects as they develop

Kyle Harvey

AS A MAJOR in both computer science and visual arts, I had been eager to design a project that merged these two fields through the use of machine learning. I quickly gravitated toward doing a black-and-white relief print and then experimenting using other mediums in combination. I decided to use colored screen prints layered underneath the relief prints and high-resolution scans processed by generative machine-learning algorithms to create new versions to display alongside the original print. Each of these generated images will highlight the use of different styles to convey the same content, hopefully highlighting different emotional aspects of the prints to create a unique experience.

After I finalized the process, all that was left was to choose a subject. I wanted something that was innately emotional and dramatic. So, I looked through a few museum catalogues and quickly became enamored with many of the depictions of biblical scenes by artists of the late Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Baroque period like Giotto, Sebastiano del Piombo, and Caravaggio. I wanted to do my take on these biblical scenes through an extended metaphor derived from Luke 12:27-28, which describes the beauty of flowers, and draw an analogy between the beauty of the flower and the amount of love God has for humans. I decided to do a series of prints that feature seemingly innocuous scenes of flowers that still depict the dramatic emotions inherent to the Bible.

Hand-carved relief prints take a lot of patience and time, especially when working on larger scales. I started by creating digital sketches of each of my five prints and then began the tedious process of transferring the images onto the linoleum before I could start carving. Although it’s not a short process, and I’ve ended up with far too many nicks and cuts on my hands to count, I’ve found few things as satisfying as peeling back the sheet of paper from my relief block to reveal my first print, fresh off the press.

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