2013 e

Susanne Walter finds printing blocks in the wood. She inks up the sawn-off tree stumps an prints them off where they stand. These tree stumps are the unusable left overs from the commercial use of the forest. The forester marks the cutting line so that only the usable portion is taken and what is left stays in the forest floor as a root system. This cutting line marks the division between the remaining tree with its roots buried deep in the earth an the memory of the former tree with its branches in a specific time and space.

Just as a death-mask preserves the appearance of a human being who once lived, so the prints taken from the tree stumps with their growth rings now made visible are a reminder of the steady development of the tree that once was. The striking marks of the saw blade are an indication of the sudden death of the tree.
Carefully and almost tenderly, but using the physical strength necessary, Susanne Walter rubs these traces onto Japanese paper. In a manner of speaking she is taking off a flat death-mask. So prints such as these represent pars pro toto all the trees that habe been felled in the forest. And so the series of "woodcuts" stands witness to the life an civilisation of a society.
In a second phase these prints will be lifted into three dimensions. Susanne Walter applies them to a low pedestal an hangs them in order on the wall to create an installation. Other pressure prints on high quality watercolour paper receive the ennobling treatment by being framed in the classic manner.
Susanne Walter is setting off on a dedicated quest. Her career as a graphic artist is rooted in classic printing techniques and she applies her technological and artistic knowledge in surprising and new ways. The classic handprepared printing block is replaced by found material as in earlier works such as the platforms, made from a used wooden breakfast board, or "woodcuts", made from three stumps.

Werner Hielscher