Hobo signs are the name given to a group of similar ideographic systems used for drawing or carving into trees, walls, doors, or other surfaces. Each symbol gives specific information concerning the place where it is found. The type of signs and their meanings are influenced by the situations ‘vagabonds,’ ‘tramps,’ ‘homeless,’ or ‘hobos’ found themselves in up to the time of the Second World War.
For these editions I have gleaned from the histories of North America, Sweden and England. It should be noted that while universal in some instances, there are many regional differences. Interesting pictures begin to emerge of the sentiments of a culture . . . for instance, a cat signifies “a good woman lives here” (as apparently, in North America, a woman with a cat was thought to be more kind-hearted than a woman without).
These symbols have been resurrected from a bygone era, and they speak of the latent good-will of even the most destitute of individuals. They perhaps contain the most honorable lesson that information must be shared for everyone’s survival.
The act of cutting into lino-block is the vehicle of expression, not unlike the original process of marks made by itinerant people during the Great Depression. But I think that human kind has always left marks in its wake. You will find that these signs are every bit as relevant today . . . to adorn a vestibule, welcome friends to a new home, or to acknowledge new friends, kind spirits, or helpers who enter our lives.
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About Lino-Cut Prints
Each print is hand-pulled in limited editions of one hundred, after which the plate is destroyed. There will never be another exactly the same. Printed on two hundred pound Stonehenge paper, each image is individually inked, burnished, and signed by the artist. Framed in either black or burnished silver, finished framed and matted prints measure 9x 11 inches (22.8x27.9cm)
About Signs of Life
My desire is to celebrate the subtle signs of life around us. What I present to you now is the beginning of a series of limited edition linocut prints. . . the start of a journey.
Please click on individual symbols below to reveal the series in each collection