Membranes is a etching that will be included in an upcoming show at Purdue University entitled "She Contains Multitudes."
It was such an honor to have it receive a purchase award in a juried show to become part of their permanent collection in 2009.
It is a part of a small series of unique prints pulled from a set of 7 full-sized zinc etchings that originally fit together to make one modular image for my MFA thesis work. You can see more images of the original installation by following this link:
This piece represents a shell undergoing a metamorphosis, adopting a form more sinister and less identifiable than the simple mollusk that informed the initial drawing. The ubiquitous shell is known to represent life, discovery/knowledge, growth, death and decay. I've built on these historical themes and have taken the object to use for my own personal symbolism in the same themes. This piece uses grandiose scale, obsessively worked etching plates and installation to exaggerate the experience of finding and holding one of these intimately sized exoskeletons.
In addition to paper, the etchings were also printed onto silk gauze as part of the original installation. The silk was hung directly in front of the paper prints in the same configuration, but lifting away on a shaped framework. I wanted them to appear to be a remnant, a molted shell that leaves behind the vessel that still carries life.
While printing the silk gauze, I discovered that a specific and quirky set of printing techniques had to be used to get the image to read properly on the very delicate membrane. One requirement was to place a pristine backing over the silk on each run. Only rag paper as a backing seemed to really work for the image to come out on the silk panels.
I kept the backing prints for future projects until I was able to access a print facility again. A print residency allowed me to revisit this experimental project and to create a series of unique prints using the same plates. Some refer to these works as monotypes, but I don’t prefer this term. I see each as a unique portion of a larger whole.
There is a sense of mystery that comes from seeing an image that is a part of a larger unknown system. Many from this series were collected or purchased soon after I had the opportunity to make them. I’m grateful for this, because the bulk of the pieces from this series were destroyed in a sewage leak into my printshop flat files a few years ago. The gratitude that comes from knowing that a handful were cared for and can be seen elsewhere is hard to describe.
As a final note, I will say that one of the greatest pleasures I experience whenever I work in a new print shop is to discover plates that were left behind. I think that often they were left because of their perceived unimportance in terms of their contribution to parts of larger projects--color layer plates, detail plates, etc. Ultimately, the Key Plates are seldom left behind, since they carry most of the information for an image. The de-contextualized snippets, however, show a fleeting glimpse into a bigger idea. Truly, the information contained on these plates are more revealing and alive than the carefully planned, cleanly polished, neatly stacked, perfectly registered, and well-organized edition. Without this sense of life and endless potential recombinations, etching loses its appeal. I hope that a viewer who sees Membranes will have an exciting sense that they are peering into a small window that leads to a larger world.
To learn more about the upcoming exhibit, please go here:
Tacoma News Tribune 2007
Excerpt of a Review of Concatenations by Rosemary Ponnekanti
...But if you think that’s good, then walk on. For at the corner of Broadway and South 11th Street is one of the most captivating visual fantasies ever to inhabit these windows.
Margot Myers’ “Concatenations” describes an imaginary landscape, terrain lines from a relief map reconfigured into a spider’s web of allusions. Black sumi ink drifts across the windowpane, sucked closer into a whirlpool on the end. In the central 4-foot-deep space, wavy silk curtains hang top to bottom like pale blue ghosts, their own white terrain lines and dots playing with the changing light and street reflections. Behind, the landscape continues, the ink lines now circled concentrically, a Milky Way of lava pools. It’s the kind of art you want to spend your lunch hour looking at.