Jenna Bryson is from Loganville, Georgia. She will graduate from Georgia College in December of 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in Art with a concentration in Graphic Design and a minor in Marketing. Jenna’s primary discipline is graphic design, but her internship at Brown Parcel Press has sparked an interest in letterpress printmaking. Jenna seeks to use art as a communication medium, particularly in ministry, and has had the opportunity to work with the Learning Center and Wesley Foundation on campus to promote their services through design.
My print series, Isaiah, is themed around Isaiah 42:16 which says, “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.” This passage reflects a deep connection to God’s redemptive work in my life. On display are 9 square identically composed letterpress prints of a gold/yellow color eye, each of which gets lighter and lighter. The series uses imagery, color, and composition to draw the viewer in. The overall design choice of an eye reflects “the blind” from the theme passage. Darkness turning into light refers to the sequence of pieces becoming gradually lighter. Lastly, the slightly disjointed pieces reflect rough places being made smooth. From up close, the viewer sees all the little cracks between the different shades in the image – what I correlate to the imperfections in an individual’s life. However, from far away, the viewer sees a completed image – which symbolizes us being able to see each other as whole beings because of God’s redemptive work. The color of the work, gold, furthers this symbolism as gold has many uses, good and evil.
This series is study-like in nature because it takes the conceptual and turns it into a technique-focused process. As a graphic designer, I decided for my final medium to be letterpress printmaking because of the joy and solace I have found through the process of bringing a digital piece to life in a repetitive, process-oriented, hands-on way. I think it also reflects God’s continual pursuit of His people that I seek for this body of work to portray. Though the series itself is very repetitive, the color manipulation required for this project is a unique way for me to grow my understanding of color theory and tonal development in ways I am not able to explore in digital mediums. This print series is reflective of my desire for personal challenge, symbolic creativity, and process development based on a singular theme that speaks to my faith and God’s relentless pursuit of my soul.
Isaiah 42:16 says, “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.” This project includes 9 square identically composed letterpress prints laid out in a row. Each of these prints displays a singular open eye, related to “the blind” referenced in the project’s theme verse. The development of ink in the prints will build to have a lighter and lighter tint, showing the “darkness [turning] into light.” Upon viewing these prints at a distance, the yellow monotone image will appear whole, but looking at the prints up close will reveal cracks and gaps between the different tones – this idea represents “rough places [being made] smooth.” The color yellow is often identified as a color related to fire, which frequently represents the presence of God in the Bible (Deuteronomy 4:24). As a whole, this study-like project will focus on color manipulation and printing plate design through the theme presented in Isaiah 42:16.