By Chandler O'Leary and Jessica Spring
Tacoma, Washington: Anagram Press'/Springtide Press, 2013. Edition of 147.
10 x 18"; single-sheet broadside. Printed letterpress on archival 100% rag (cotton) paper. Handset wood type. Illustrated by Chandler O'Leary and printed by Jessica Spring. Signed and numbered by the artists.
Chandler O'Leary: "...worldwide, over and over again, the plans and dreams of so many women and girls are cut short by violence. In light of recent high-profile crimes halfway around the world, Jessica and I thought it was high time we spoke up. This time we drew inspiration from the Nightingale of India..."
"Nightsong honors the hopes and dreams of women and girls in every culture – in defiance of the world's dangers. The illustration depicts a lush dream menagerie printed in bright, exotic hues. Tigers, peacocks, elephants, and nightingales stand sentinel around our heroine, surrounded by detailed paisleys and florals drawn in the style of Indian mehndi designs.
"To make this print more dreamlike, we decided to throw a tricky technique called split-foundation printing into the mix – or 'rainbow roll,' for short.
"A split foundation is extremely difficult to control (advanced Eagle Scout printing here, folks), but the results are so lovely that it's absolutely worth the effort. As an added bonus, we were careful to keep our inks translucent – so when we registered the second color, that mixed with the colors even further, giving us an entire rainbow spectrum with just two passes on press.
"I should add, though, that while we love printing with a rainbow roll, the process is completely unpredictable, and the finish prints are far from uniform. So rather than an edition of absolutely identical broadsides, we ended up with a beautiful range of yellows, oranges, pinks, and even reds, that vary from print to print.
"To help restore hope to victims and in honor of our dreams for the future, a portion of our proceeds will be donated to Take Back the Night in order to create safe communities. Take Back the Night seeks to end sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual abuse, and all other forms of sexual violence."
Colophon: "Sarojini Chattopadhyay Naidu (1879 - 1949) — also known as 'The Nightingale of India' — was born in Hyderabad, the eldest of eight children. She was a gifted student, proficient in five languages, and by age 16 left the country to attend King’s College to pursue her interest in poetry. Inspired by the suffragist movement in England, she joined the struggle for Indian independence, traveling the country to lecture on social welfare, women’s rights and nationalism. Naidu played a leading role during the Civil Disobedience Movement and was jailed along with Gandhi. Naidu wrote beautiful lyrical poetry, focused on Indian themes, to inspire the nation. She was the first woman to serve as president of the Indian National Congress, and the first woman to become the Governor of the state of Uttar Pradesh. Though Naidu humbly claimed, 'I am only a woman, only a poet,' her birthday is celebrated as Women’s Day throughout India."