Ortansa Moraru's descriptive spaces are not worlds of complete freedom, but tangled and embroidered flights of fancy that imply existences other than those from which we have learned to escape. We are confronted by a maze-like frequency of turns and barriers that interrupts our expectations with a jag in an unexpected direction.
Consider the grain. When a perfect curve is unfolding and it hits the grain, the intrinsic path of the wood - the life lines and indications of history trip the wandering line and shift the pathway. It is similar to building a nest when the grasses and branches are woven into place by an intelligence that is unaware of mathematics and engineering, like a bird's, yet understands how to build the nest from the inside of it's being. The nest building gene is a part of their make-up. So it is with Ortansa Moraru's detailed woodcuts. They map an inner dimension that translates into marks familiar yet unique.
There is a subterranean feeling to the habitats. The stripes of wood with dots appear to be thicker dimensions from which the cartoon-like images are trying to free themselves, sending up air bubbles, as in “The Hearing Sense” or as the title suggests letting dancing sounds into a receptive ear.
Whether as a single image or in the multiple woodblocks, Ortansa Moraru's woodblock prints are striking, complicated linear messages. She has successfully utilized the traditional play between the stark black line, printed from the wood left raised as the area around it was gouged away, and the snowy white paper. The tones between the black and white relying on lines, fine to thick and constructed in reverse, reveal the mental dexterity required. Moraru's tangled layering, alongside the deep lushness of perfect inky blacks, presents us with a dynamic field of tension and relief.
Copyright © 2007, Julie Oakes