This print is about bioremediation. Bioremediation is the use of biological agents, such as bacteria, fungi, or green plants, to remove or neutralize contaminants, as in polluted soil or water. This print celebrates some of the most well known and popular remediators in Western Pennsylvania where I now live again: wild mustard, oyster mushrooms, and earthworms. Wild mustard and oyster mushrooms actually pull heavy metals and other toxins from the soil in damaged areas, such as formerly industrial sites or empty lots that once held houses. Mustard seeds can also be harvested for fossil fuels. Oyster mushrooms can break down pesticides and even petroleum products. They are also super tasty! (but don’t harvest them from polluted sites). Although recently earthworms have come under scrutiny as an invasive species to the Americas, they are still a welcome friend to many gardeners, as they quickly break down compost into casings, which add nutrition to the soil. Some people also find worms to be tasty!
This is the first print I have made since I moved from Toronto back to Pittsburgh. I drew the outlines with brush and ink and scanned, cut and pasted the image together using Photoshop. Then I printed it out and used the printout as a guide to create the other layers with brush and ink on transparencies, or with rubylith. I printed this four-layer print at Artists’ Image Resource (AIR), an amazing resource for artists and printmakers here in Pittsburgh.
These are a small handful of artist’s proof prints from the edition that Mary originally printed for our Community Supported Art subscription program in 2017.