This is the 9th print exchange sponsored by [Baren], the international woodblock forum. The theme for this exchange was 'Endangered Species' and it generated a tremendous amount of enthusiasum. Opening each of the packages was an excitinge experience because the prints were so varied and the subject matter lent itself to interesting interpretations. [Baren] members are a talented and a commited group! I know you will find this set a treat to explore as I did as the coordinator.
Bea Gold, exchange coordinator
Los Angeles, California
Some time back, a suggestion for the theme of this exchange was tossed out into the forum discussions. It was mentioned that one of the other woodblock groups on the 'net (Print Australia) was proposing a print exchange with the theme of 'Endangered Species', and it was thought that if [Baren] took up the same theme, then members who wished to participate in both would be able to kill two birds with one stone (Oops! ... bad choice of analogy for this particular theme!). That seemed like not a bad suggestion, and indeed, this is a theme with a great deal of potential for interesting woodblock design, as well as being one that will 'exhibit well'.
So we decided to give it a try, but put our usual little 'twist' on it, and suggested that the title need not be taken literally. We were not looking for 30 prints of 'snail darters', but of any 'creature' - real or imaginary - that the designer felt was in danger of disappearing.
The challenge to the participants was to prove that homo sapiens barenis does not qualify for inclusion in this exchange - to show that good woodblock printmakers are not about to disappear.
Tokyo, June 2001
Founder, [Baren] Forum
Special thanks to Bea Gold for coordinating this exchange, to Dan Dew for doing the scanning, and to Fumi Bull for building the web pages.