Flow: The loss of the American Eel in the Ottawa River

Coming Soon.

Beth Shepherd, Eels Caught Up, Monotype

The feature image is monotype where the swirls of white in black ink capture the movement of eels caught in a net or weir.

This post is a placeholder for a video I am working on describing the creation of a large vertical hanging, which is under development. Flow is but one of a number of pieces I am creating as part of a larger group project on the theme of Migration, currently underway by members of the Ottawa-Gatineu Printmakers Connective.

Flow: Recruitment and Escapement (Scroll hanging approximately 2 X 1 metres)

American eels exhibit a reproductive pattern of migration inked to their spawning cycles. They spend their adult life in freshwater, then a decade or more layer, return to the ocean to spawn and die in the Sargasso Sea. Yellow eels enter freshwater habitats making their way upstream (“recruitment”) where they remain feeding and hibernating until they reach sexual maturity decades later. Sexually mature females, now blackish and silver, head downstream towards the ocean (“escapement”). To render the existential fragility of this species I employ the ephemeral qualities of Japanese mulberry paper. The images of yellow eels pointing upward and large dark eels pointing downward were impressed from a large PET-G carborundum matrix using Akua inks interspersed with elements of monotype staining and Chine collé. The vertical scroll is suspended 10 to 20 cms from the wall to allow it to move gently with the prevailing air flow.