Daniel is sentenced to a terrifying death, yet he stands quietly in the midst of the wild lions. This ancient story still inspires us by its hopeful message. It connects us to the men and women who confront and oppose the powers in our world that keep people oppressed, the people who “speak truth to power”. It is relived again and again. It is part of the collective unconscious of many cultures and peoples. I see the story still reaching people with its optimistic message where good wins and hope is kept alive.
I have long been interested in the story of Daniel. An early influence was seeing the medieval Play of Daniel. It was an exciting visual and musical drama, using a consort of medieval instruments and costumed singers. The story of Daniel has kept reoccurring in my art. I have tried over the years to capture this Biblical narrative in drawing, painting, and making prints.
The idea of telling stories is a basic to me. I see this throughout our history: telling and retelling of stories goes to the roots of our ancestors, keeping hope alive despite immense trials. People remember their lives, they tell their stories and the stories they hear from others. People listen carefully to capture the details. Our lives are connected to many stories and they help connect us to other people’s struggles.
The acrylic painting DANIEL was completed in 1999. This was the basis for my new serigraph. The preliminary work on the serigraph began in June 2000 and was completed with 35 colors printed on October 10, 2000. There were many subtle color and design changes in the development of the serigraph. I added a border of symbols and patterns that framed the main image. A texture was built up from the 35 layers of inks printed over each other. Above each column is a miniature narrative panel. My techniques included glazing with transparent inks and using stencils where I drew stippling and varied textures to create a rich variety of patterns throughout the image.