Rupert Deese

Iris/1 – Iris/6, 2000. Etching and white ground aquatint.
The antecedents for the circular form in the Iris etchings are two older objects: the primary mirror for the Hale telescope on Mt. Palomar, and a Neolithic Han Dynasty jade disk. Both consist of a translucent disk with a fair size hole for a center; the diameter of the mirror is about 200 inches with a 30 inch hole. The mysterious Chinese disk is about 8 inches in diameter with a 1 ½” hole.

The radiating/contracting wavy circle evolved from several phenomena: the radiating waves on the surface of a fluid disturbed by a drop; the opening and closing of petaled flowers according to light and heat levels; and the concentric markings and activities of the eye. The ultramarine blue color of the ink loosely corresponds to the violet-blue lupine fields of early summer.

The plates are densely worked with hard and softground line and many layers of whiteground aquatint. The suite consists of 6 prints titled Iris/1 – Iris/6. They are printed from single copper plates 10″ in diameter in ultramarine blue ink on 11″ x 11″ Fabriano Artistico paper in editions of 20.