Weedwatching Wall Hanging by Jen Hewett
We're not known for containing our enthusiasm around these parts, but today's new object edition has stirred up an unprecedented screenprinted textile-stoked frenzy. We’re over the moon to welcome printmaker, artist, teacher, entrepreneur and all around amazing human Jen Hewett to the 20x200 fam, and introduce her very special debut edition, Weedwatching—a hand-screened wall hanging that we’ve been oohing and ahhing over at HQ ever since it arrived.
As I said on Twitter recently, I’ve had moments of comfort in allowing myself to be dazzled by small things. Jen’s Weedwatching celebrates just the sort of small things that I’m talking about, and is also a good reminder that beauty is often found where you least expect it. Weeds might be the enemy of an unspoiled expanse of green grass, but there is beauty in their unruliness, in their individual leaves and flowers, and in how they intermingle with each other. Jen’s edition celebrates a few of these specimens and leaves us with a lot to love—the varied greens, the pink of the clover’s flowers, and the leaves of grass that sprout up about them. Weedwatching is a celebration of the unsung and overlooked nature in our midst and an exhortation to embrace the beauty that crops up in unexpected place.
The linen that Jen’s chosen for these wall hangings is the perfect host for their untamed organicism… irregular itself, revealing its contours and pretty imperfections as it’s draped, stretched or handled. It’s not often that I can say that I love the literal feel of a piece of art, but this is an instance where it’s definitely true. I admire its stubborn resistance to uniformity; it accommodates the layers of ink that Jen’s screened on its surface but continues to subtly assert itself beneath them. When hung on a wall using the dowel that it arrives with, it’s a touchable thing, with the borders of the screened image creating a distinct, palpable boundary between the gloss of the ink and the linen it lies on. Pulled taut with hanging bars at top and bottom (as shown on the site), the layers and leaves seem to almost float upon its surface. We leave it to you, dear collector, to choose how you display it!
I first met Jen through another 20x200 artist and dear friend o’ mine Lisa Congdon. Jen and Lisa have been besties for years, and share a similar approach to their practices: raw talent at the foundation, brought to fruition by a mix of pragmatism and positivity and bolstered by healthy doses of discipline and good business sense. And they’ve both been incredibly generous in sharing their stories as well, talking honestly about challenges and offering glimpses into their respective processes. Jen also uses her blog to share the stories of others (check out her 52 weeks of Printmakers series!) and her newsletter is a perfect blend of updates and introspection.
Digital prints and photography have always been at the heart of what we do, but our special releases keep us on our toes—be they original drawings by Jason Polan, letterpress editions from Amos Kennedy or Michelle Vaughan, or today’s screenprinted beauty from Jen. Broadening our offerings to include more art that’s unique and/or handmade is a goal we’ve had for a while now. Partly because we know that our most loyal collectors have more prints than they know what to do with at this point (thank you for your ongoing support!) and also because we feel it’s important to demonstrate the breadth of what art can be. Besides, it’s just downright cool to be able to put something that’s been created with an artist’s very own hands into the hands of our collectors.
With art for everyone,