“Polar Bear”, a mokulito print by Bernhard Cociancig (Austria)
Bernhard on his inspiration for his latest Woodcut and Mokulito art: “Prehistoric rock carvings depicting long-extinct animals. First Nations’ adoration and worship of their totems, and aborigines respecting abnormal landmarks as holy. They all relate to the interaction between humans and nature. I am often inspired by it. Consequently, I try to point to issues that are acute in our environment, like global warming, socio-ecological tensions, and endangered species.”
“On The Edge” series
“Polar Bear” is part of Bernhard’s recent Mokulito and Woodcut series, “On the Edge”. The focus of this series is on the threat of extinction of species in the Northern Hemisphere. Polar bears starved to walking skeletons, roaming garbage dumps in search of food. Long lost herds of prairie bison, only preserved for our posterity through breeding. Once huge numbers of migratory woodland caribou dramatically shrinking, and resurgent timber wolf packs relentlessly hunted.
Bernhard: “Climate change, environmental toxins, loss of habitat and poaching do not only pose a threat to global wildlife but also to us, humans; we are standing “On The Edge”.
Before Bernhard commences a new work, he deeply immerses himself into research. Trying to understand and grasp the matter of concern. Snippets of the research work, photos, and sketches; all of it finally leads to the artwork, whereby the selection of the medium is an important element in the process.
Bernhard: “Given the kind of motif and issue, I deploy the media which I find best suited to address the situation. This can be paintings, installations, print graphics, or drawings. Lately, my focus has turned to print graphics. The almost endless possibilities of materials and techniques provide a stimulating element to my work. Two techniques that I increasingly deploy are Mokulito and Woodcut Prints.”
Mokulito and Woodcuts
Mokulito is a printing technique similar to lithography. But instead of stone slabs, the plate material is plywood. Contrary to stone lithography, Mokulito (moku means wood) works without acids, and no hazardous fumes are created.
An additional advantage of using plywood is the option to re-use the plates for woodcuts. For “Bison” and “Polar Bear”, Bernhard has followed this process. Initially, he printed the Mokulito plates, and then carved and printed woodcuts from them.
Interested in getting to know more about Bernhard?
We interviewed Bernhard on a nature hike in the beautiful Kananaskis area of Bragg Creek, AB (Canada). A full account of this meeting is available on our Meet the Artist Blog page. Alternatively, you can browse his Profile page.