Carol Wilhide Justin makes woodcut prints from her own digital photographs. The camera’s ‘decisive moment’ and the woodcut’s lengthy reinterpretation of the same image are combined allowing the character of her subjects to be crystallised in an atmospheric and emotional way. Memory, as narrative, as emotional truth, as time and in its fallibility lies at the heart of all her work. In a world increasingly driven by the digital, Carol’s work celebrates a belief in the haptic and analogue. Woodcuts are time consuming to produce, slow and exacting, built one layer at a time, the result of decision and deliberation.
Carol was awarded a residency to study Japanese woodcut in Japan from japanese senseis. Her woodcuts are made using the mokuhanga technique where water-based pigments are used instead of the more traditional Western oil based inks. This lends the prints a more nuanced quality where the woodgrain can subtly show through the layers of paint. The use of monochrome is a means of transforming the original image, distilling it to its essential truth and meaning.
In her RCA Degree show Carol exhibited ‘The Fold of the Sea’. Gilles Deleuze described a fold as ‘the inside [being]…an operation of the outside…an inside which is merely the fold of the outside, as if the ship were a folding of the sea’. In Carol’s print wood grain and water are folded together using the template for solar panels devised by Japanese astrophycist Koryo Miura.