This week’s Random Print is a stone lithograph printed on mylar for Kathryn Polk’s print Tyger, Tyger Burning Bright.
The title probably comes from the well known poem by William Blake (1757 – 1827), The Tyger in which the poet questions the motivations of a creator capable of designing a fearsome but enviable, tiger and a comfortably safe lamb. Polk’s playful composition situates two girls on one end of a see-saw having a tea party, while at the other end a crouching tiger eyes the adolescent girls and prepares to pounce. Sea-tossed chairs, plates of cake, a stylized Asian landscape, and burning purses punctuate Polk’s drama. A fiery purse ignites the see-saw and seems to hold the tiger’s attack at bay. Unanswered questions fill the scene: where did the tiger come from? How can the weight of two small girls hold up an over-sized feline predator? What kind of cake is that? Like Blake’s poem, the metaphors that fill Polk’s image wait to be deciphered.
Polk used this lithograph printed on mylar to develop colors on Smart Plates which she printed after the stone lithograph edition (see the color edition below). Some, including Polk herself, would say the order of printing from dark to light is backwards, but the end result speaks for itself.