Deborah-Koenker-Visual-Artist-Vancouver_The-Mexican-Night

The Mexican Night

1981-1983


In 1980 I encountered Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s The Mexican Night, a travel journal recording the sensuous mystery and magic I’d recently experienced living in Mexico. My 5 months of travels there were extreme in range--from Cora and Huichol villages to Mexico City.  Visual, intense, and sensory, the resulting in 13 colour prints of haciendas, gardens, weddings, shrines, music, wildly imaginative ceramics envisioned, literally, from dreams. A loose, spontaneous drawing style sought to belie the laborious lithographic, etching and silkscreen processes used, and layers from one print were often used in the next image.  The ellipse appears prominently, transforming into various elements such as a leaf, an eye, the footstep of a dance. These prints were made in tandem with my first body of sculptures, a series of Shrines built from found construction materials gleaned from houses slated to be torn down. They serve as markers of profound yet invisible transformative experiences.