Memory Journeys  2014 to present
       This new work explores the feelings of longing, foreboding
    and completive reflection on life. In comparison to earlier
    work it is made of simplified layers, that represent a more
    subdued vision.  The first print begins on the left side with two
    small, but fierce female guardian figures in dark brown.  
    Developed as woodcuts around 1990, I transformed the images
    into screen prints for this project. They represent the vigor of my
    early feminist-focused work.  

    On the right is the image of the upper body of a pensive young
    women printed in grey and dark green. She has bare shoulders
    and her hand rests on her knee.  She is a model whose body I
    drew and photographed extensively during my early years an
    artist. Only in the last two years have I begun using images that
    focus on her contemplative face.

    In the center is a collaged vertical segment of red-toned relief
    printing from the mid-point in my career. This form overlaps her
    arm and evokes a kind of gateway, inviting deeper exploration
    and signifying the connections between the known past and the
    unknown, but impending future. The final symbol of that
    linkage is the red thread that winds from one side of the print to
    the other.


    Gardens and Gateways 2001-2014
    This body of work includes a collection of inter-related mixed
    media books, paintings and prints created beginning around
    2000 and continuing to the present.  Each of the included
    segments interweaves my areas of interest as an artist.   My
    process is to employ my own drawings, photographs and prints
    in my work.  

    I also use collected materials, ephemera from previous projects,
    and found images.  Media include ink, paint, wax, sewing,
    collage and found objects.   Objects like tin niches (small places
    of worship) seem to echo the temple and garden entryways I
    have photographed and become a kind of gateway within a
    piece.                                                                                               
                          
    As a printmaker I have always been interested in the technical
    overlay of print methods and images.  I like to experiment with
    ways in which printmaking media may begin to come together
    with painting.  As well, the concept of the artist book as an
    object held in the hand or viewed closely thus creating an
    intimate interaction between artist and viewer, are all at the
    center of my visual exploration.  

    The un-named 2001-2012
    One series of large scale prints was begun in summer 2001 as an
    exploration into the myth of Persephone and her descent into
    the underworld.  Then the events 9/11 took place. The work
    was completed as a memorial to the thousands of anonymous
    people who were lost in the underworld of burning steel.  

    I have recently begun to re-work these images in terms of the un-
    named and faceless people who are caught in the violence of
    war or political situations beyond their control.  Are they sisters,
    fathers, mothers or children?  How much loss they must have
    experienced.  

    In my own life, the birth mothers of my daughters, though never
    to be known, are always present for me like ghosts of
    memories.  In her introduction to Karin Evans’ book, “Lost
    Daughters of China”, Anchee Min takes on the role of stern Ai-
    yi or auntie, telling the “raw truth” of their histories.  She tells
    the lost daughters that for their birth mothers, who for whatever
    tragic reason had to relinquish them, they will be forever “a
    broken arm hidden inside the sleeve.”

    Reclaiming the female body 1987-1999
    I have searched for an image that conveyed essential woman,
    not determined by notions of age or physical beauty or the gaze.
    Variations on a simple crouch or squat seem most compelling.  
    It is a stance of our daily life functions of giving birth, of
    elimination and of bathing.  This simple visual metaphor seems
    an appropriate starting point for reclaiming images of ourselves.

    These images are intended to transcend specific age and reveal
    the constant, internal and evolving self found in the private
    space of thought, body and the personal. The women’s bodies in
    each piece are close to life size and can be placed on the wall in
    order to create a dynamic exchange with the viewer.
                                                                  

    Buddhism
    On my first trip to China, I brought along a small book of one
    hundred poems by Han-shan from the T’ang Dynasty. These
    writings by the reclusive, yet deeply socially aware Buddhist
    monk who is thought to have lived anywhere between 627 and
    750 A.D.  I have returned to this volume many times.

    Here translated by Burton Watson is #29
    I spur my horse past the ruined city;
    The ruined city, that wakes the traveler’s thoughts:
    Ancient battlements, high and low;

    Old grave mounds, great and small.
    Where the shadow of the single tumbleweed trembles
    And the voice of the great trees clings forever,

    I sigh over all those common bones—
    No roll of the immortals bears their names.

    Han-shan’s poem echoed as I visited famous spots such as Xian’
    s Terracotta Warriors, the Forbidden City, and the Great Wall
    and most strongly when walking down an unknown street in a
    city or looking out a train window across fields lit with many
    little fires from farmers’ brush piles.  It was the unnamed souls
    of Han-shan’s poems, whose presence is strong in these places
    that have resonated most deeply for me.  China’s history in the
    recent centuries makes this sentiment more poignant.  

    Ancient images of the Buddha and the goddess, Guan Yin, who
    gives solace to the hurt and provides the blessing of children,
    evoke a place of contemplation and peace. As well I find the
    ever-transforming garden to be a compelling and hopeful visual
    metaphor.

    The works I have created contain layered levels, like pages, that
    become gateways to new images the same way garden or
    temple gateways invite exploration and evoke an ancient place
    often visited perhaps over multiple centuries by anonymous
    wanderers.
Anne Beidler---Artist Statement         
2017, against forgetting (litho and woodcut)
2017, finding solace (woodcut and screen print)