An Artistic Inquiry into Printmaking Substrates and their Health Impacts
[substratum] Working Group, [substratum] 4, 2012
Zea Mays Printmaking, based in Florence, MA, has designed and launched a website as its Prospectus project, entitled [substratum] An Artistic Inquiry into Printmaking Substrates and their Health Impacts. The website centers on five "substrates" -- five different materials (wood, linoleum, metal, plastic and photopolymer) that make up printmaking plates - and the health issues associated with use of these materials in the studio, home and office. Information about these health issues is often difficult to access and understand; therefore, the organization has created a multilayered, multimedia website that features new art by the seven artist-members of the Zea Mays Printmaking working group displaying human physical systems, material data safety sheets, personal audio-recorded stories and web links that educate artists and DIY practitioners alike about potential health impacts and safety precautions that should be taken when using the materials. The Zea Mays artists worked with scientists and toxicologists Dr. David Hinkamp and Dr. Richard Peltier in conducting the research that has gone into the [substratum] website.