"For eight weeks this summer I had the amazing opportunity to work at the
Morgan Conservatory. I spent my time creating pulp paintings and screen printing
halftone photographs of Russia, Atlanta and Cleveland. I am very grateful for this
opportunity, and believe that this residency is an extremely important artistic
resource. I sincerely hope that more artists will get to experience this kind of
professional support in the future."
Anna Tararova was born in Russia and currently lives in Cleveland, Ohio. She received an MFA in Printmaking from Ohio University. Anna is a printmaker, book artist, and papermaker. She completed artist residencies at Paper Circle and the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago and exhibits her work internationally. Anna has worked as the Art-In-Ed Resident at Women’s Studio Workshop and has taught papermaking, printmaking, and photography classes for children and adults.
Visit Anna at the website, here.
Moonville was a small coal-mining town in southeastern Ohio. It built along the tracks of the Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad in the middle of the least populated and most densely forested county in Ohio. The town was abandoned in 1947, and the trains stopped running in the 80s. While in graduate school studying printmaking, I often drove out a long, winding gravel road and hiked the overgrown trails to Moonville. Tilted electric poles and an enormous train tunnel cutting through a hill are the only traces of the ghost town. At the time I was reading Mapping the Invisible Landscape by Kent C. Ryden, who writes about the ethereal features of landscape that shape our experience of physical place. He talks about unique cognitive maps created by people’s minds that develop into our personal reality. Influenced by Ryden’s writing, I began to create illustrations of the narratives my mind found in the landscape of Appalachian Ohio.
After receiving my degree I found myself without access to a print studio or any printmaking equipment. At the time I was working for a small papermaking studio making large sheets of colored abaca paper during the day and experimenting with scrap pulp in the evenings. I engaged the help of several local artists to clean out the basement of the studio and build an exposure unit for silkscreen. One day I was looking through dusty boxes of paper scraps piled on the shelves and came across a beautiful sheet painted with transparent layers of blue pulp. Trying to recreate the effect, I played with the ratio of formation aid and water to achieve smooth, watercolor-like pulp paint. At night I dreamt about airy layers of overlapping pastel colors flowing over mountains and towns exposing the “invisible landscape.” Wanting to capture these dreams, I screen printed my photographs and those of a fellow Appalachian enthusiast, Jacob Koestler, on pulp paintings made from plants local to the places we photographed. By using fiber that was sourced locally, I created a physical connection to the narrative in each piece.
After a move to Cleveland I began applying to artist residencies in order to expand my project as well as gain access to papermaking communities and equipment. This brought me to Women’s Studio Workshop in upstate New York and the Center for Book and Paper Arts in Chicago. I have plans to expand my project internationally to Russia and Mexico, as well as to continue exploring the United States in order to capture and share some of the stories of the endless “invisible landscapes” that exist everywhere.