Thursday 27 March 2008
I was just talking about printmaker Denise Walker in my print studio blog, yesterday and lo and behold - I receive an invite to her private view. It will be taking place in a couple of weeks time. It was she, who got me started doing some woodblock printmaking about this time last year. In my print studio blog yesterday - I was saying that whereas I had been making wood blocks where I removed the line which then printed white on black (as it were) Denise got me doing it more in a way that I am happier with - i.e., "positively".
Subsequent to her input last March-April, I did not actually do any wood cuts until I started them last week. This was mainly because I was working on my installation for the Dalarnas Museum in Sweden.
I had been considering doing woodcuts or to include that technique in part, but ultimately worked mainly in intaglio (etching and collagraph) as well as a small amount of inkjet chine colle.
Denise's exhibition will feature recent large woodcuts. I will probably be overwhelmed when I see them firstly by the content and then by her technical brilliance . What a gal - I mean to have both !! I will take my camera along and take a few photos and post them on here.
I found another image of hers today on the net which is from her website (which is currently "closed for lunch" for updating. I guess that jpg or gif escaped from the fold and made a dash for the "great white web" or where ever pixels float off to when they want to get away from it all!!
Wednesday 26 March 2008
This is a print that I was given by my friend Paula Torres. We studied experimental printmaking at what was then called the London College of Printing. That was around about 2000. I thought of Paula as a very unique person. She sometimes used to sing in the print studio, in an unusual voice - it was maybe spiritual or folk songs but very soft like an angel. She is very far away from me now. But I often think of her and wonder how she is doing and if she is still making art. The last I heard she had had an exhibition, in Sao Paulo. She used to go into the "favellas" (slums/ shanty towns) in SP, and do drawing workshops with the children - I remember her as being very caring about people and fun and generous.
In 2001, I think it was, myself and Paula collaborated on a double exposure project organized and coordinated by an artist in Germany called Hael Yxxs. That project was called INTERLAP. The idea with it was, that artist one e.g., me, would shoot a roll of slide film on a 35 mm camera, which I did. I would then rewind the film back to the beginning. Then I would post it on to artist number two, in this case Paula in Sao Paulo, and she would take photos which would be on top of the ones I had already shot. If you click on INTERLAP you can see all the works - only about 20 or 25 in total.
I gave Paula a print - I cannot remember what I gave to her and then she gave me a print. This is a silkscreen. It is called "She". It is one of those prints that IS BEST viewed in it's physicality because the 'grey' colour is actually silver metallic.
Paula used to work in many of the printmaking techniques although I cannot remember seeing her work in relief.
I have also posted a print which another Brazilian friend gave to me. I cannot remember if I gave her one in return but I that is what I would usually do with a special artist friend.
It's a relief print - I think it's lino. The title is "Buto Retrato el Mascara" I hope I have written it correctly. You can see more of Rosana's work on her blog.
Monday 24 March 2008
Sunday 23 March 2008
Feeling a little bit excited about my new blog, because it's coming together a bit more now. I will make more of a splash about it and invite printmakers to visit and contribute, once I have a bit more content on there.
It really does take an awful lot of time and effort though but because it's an area that really interests me, I feel I will not have difficulty in sustaining it.
Here's a picture from Linden Langdon who very kindly has contributed the first "Printmaking Practice"article. I have actually only placed half of it on the blog for now but will add the second half which is about another work she made, on another occasion. Thank you so much Linden as this is the kind of content that I want to get more and more of.
Wednesday 19 March 2008
Here is my statement about the piece:
I am calling my piece for the exhibition “Adespos”. This is a Medieval Latin
word, which means ‘anonymous’ and it feels apposite, bearing in mind my
context for this piece.
I fabricated the structure/ format, to be a bit like an ‘opened out’
envelope. I wanted it to be such that, when you opened it up, its shape and
the layout of its’ visual elements, felt reminiscent of a dwelling.
The plain cloth cover barely disguises the silhouette of a woman. Her
profile has been carved into the board beneath. I was thinking of the
current Sudanese crisis – for me she represents a woman of Darfur, who is
without a home and ‘stuck’ in a refugee camp / afraid for her life. In many
senses it is quite easy to not even notice her.
Inside various figures are represented. Such as the frightened little girl,
who peeps out from the attic, of the text house. This ‘house of letters’
signifies the idea of a book or a story which is one of the ways that people
struggling ‘against the odds’, might survive. Individuals, who are unknown
and stateless, need hope to help carry them through.
I deliberately made a decision not to include writing. Written facts about
people are categories and although they identify us formally - on another
level they reduce us to ‘units’ or cargo.
The image of the house was originally made as a silk stitched motif and
includes pages from a Russian children’s fable. We see also the skeletons
of unknown infants who died too young, found in a crypt in Palermo, in
Italy. These are representative of anonymous people of the past.
Materials: cotton, adhesive, mill board and paper (fibrous, Hahnemuhle
etching and lightweight paper for inkjet print.)
Technique: printmaking collage; inkjet, silkscreen, intaglio and relief.
I was going to upload some images, documenting the making of this - but it's pretty boring and basic really. That is something I have gotten more and more into doing since being a blogger but I think also from being part of the printmakers group on Flickr.
The first thing I wanted to do was to find a profile image of a woman from Sudan ( I was thinking of Darfur, as I was making this) and locating that image wasn't easy. I did find a woman eventually, then I drew it onto the mill board, which I eventually located here in the studio - it had to be the right thickness and weight.
Years ago I had made a portfolio/slipcase at Ormond Road Print Workshop in Finsbury Park. North London ( it seems that it no longer exists now) and had used this technique whereby you gouge out your design from the mill board and then cover the board in a thin fabric such as a lightweight calico which then gives you an embossment effect.
I cannot understand why when I did this the design although gouged reasonably deep did not seem sufficiently 'pronounced'. Therefore I needed to adhere a thin card profile and encircling ring, onto the board surface to ensure that my profile would be raised/visible.
So after two coats of fabric and everything that could go wrong, going wrong - I was able to move on to the inner contents, as it were.
I made two "linings" one using an etched textual work in the background which worked really well visually but ultimately it was the sparsity of the Hahnemuhle ground that I felt reflected the 'feel" I was going for.
I have become abysmal at posting to my blog so thought I would make an effort to catch up with myself.
I spend the last week making this piece for the above titled exhibition project. It appealed to me because of bing connected to identity although the limitation in size did initially bother me. Who could imagine that such a small sized artwork could involve so much effort. The size was 13 x 18 cm (5 x 7 inches). The passports for Britain and Ireland are actually smaller so I am glad that the "picture area" as such, was not dependent, on your own passport/nationality. I have dual nationalities - because I was born in England and adopted in Ireland. I always think that that's a good thing - you never know when it might come in handy.
At first I thought I would make a photograph of a young woman wearing a strangely fabricated Aran textile(woolen) "balaclava" of sorts. I did actually make one and then I took some photos of it ...but it just wasn't "happening" as an idea so I then went on to the idea of a stateless person(s?) with no written name and no country and that's what my document represented in the final analysis. Here's the balaclava photos, which of course I couldn't resist playing about with in Photoshop.
Thursday 6 March 2008
I was surprised to receive an email a couple of weeks back from Naestved printmakers in Denmark. I mean I had sent them three small prints (two of which, I trust they will be returning) and I thought that, that was more or less it. I thought that they would just be having a local exhibition - maybe even within the print workshop itself.
But it seems much more of a 'big deal' and they have documented it all really nicely as well (online) click on the heading to this post.
It's being held at the Roennebaeksholm Arts and Culture Centre
Because the exhibition is also displaying two print exchanges by Print Zero Studios there are over 1.500 prints by 765 artists from 52 countries. I like the way they have organized the exhibited works by country as well as by artists names.
The Naestved exhibition project is co ordinated by Torben Soeborg.
Because there is so much to see - I did not get very far but a couple of pieces that caught my attention were Linda Marshall and Magdalena Margret Kjartansdóttir, whose postcard I picked up at an exhibition in Reykjavik when I was last there with my solo exhibition at Galerie Listakot. What a coincidence!.
I find Linda Marshalls prints very interesting because of the way I feel, she is integrating the inkjet with the etching in certain of her works. I hope to get in contact with her, to see if she will let me interview her about her printmaking practice for my tradigital blog.
Here is another link I discovered showing some pictures of the exhibition
Wednesday 5 March 2008
It's funny but I wonder whether people notice that I have a "technical development"- well mainly that kind of thing BLOG, in the 'back room' of this one, as it were. That's the way I think of it. Slowly making progress with the Photrak (photographic acrylic resist etch) and the "saline etch" process.
I have also started doing some tests where I have used the Lascaux acrylic resist etch applications. Just some featuring hard and soft ground so far. But, in the last week, I have purchased almost the entire range of the Lascaux products that can be used in an etching context. This includes the tusche applications (including the stuff that one uses to load in to an air spray. Yikes, that lot of items cost nearly £200.00 !!.
Speaking of air sprays, that's one of the next things I am going to purchase, for doing aquatints. I have been researching these items on the web and it's difficult to know which one to buy. Again given that it might cost up to about £200.00 - I want to make a good choice. I think I might post on the printmaking forums about this.
Although you don't always get answers, I posted a few onto Wet Canvas before I ever got any replies - I guess it's just a case of who happens to visit the forum at moment "X" coupled with their knowledge. I would imagine that most people such as myself who go on there WILL contribute a response to a post (particularly a recent one) if it's something they know about or have experience of - I know I do.
Anyway that's quite enough for now.
The next thing I have to get be "carrying on" with, is the artwork I am making for the exhibition called "Your Documents Please" I will 'post' about this on a later occasion.
Oh and heres a recent photo of my sweet little kitty cat "Finny Foodles", chilling out !!!
Because I think this is a great organization for artists I was glad to contribute an artwork to their recent fund raising event. The Artists Space was one of the first alternative spaces set up in New York. That was way back in 1972. Their aim being to support contemporary visual artists. Of course bringing audiences to engage with their program and to promote 'dialog' with contemporary culture is also an important aspect of the organization.
The Irving Sandler artist registry holds thousands of images on its database so why don't you check it out.