Ursula West Minervini earned her BFA in Printmaking from the Maryland Institute College of Art and her MFA from Towson University. She lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland and operates Pellinore Press in partnership with Jonathon Poliszuk.
Much of my recent work explores evolution and transformation, translation and distortion, and random or absurd cause and effect. I am influenced by Surrealist games, such as Exquisite Corpse. Playfully applying rules or systems in combination with free association and chance, I translate sensible images and words into absurdities. Alternately, I start with source material that is inherently random or nonsensical and find ways to impose order.
My prints are carefully crafted and labor intensive. The rigor of the process gives credibility to images that might otherwise be dismissed as merely absurd or frivolous. I use a variety of printmaking and drawing techniques, but woodcut is my primary medium. The direct, hard-edged qualities of the carved image give solidity even to ambiguous or baffling content.
Nonsense and absurdity offer a means to address the uncertain, unpredictable, and horrific, and to accept the dissonance of contradictory ideas and emotions. I attempt to reconcile good, evil and indifferent forces by morphing them into evocative words and images that may imply sense and narrative but are essentially ridiculous.