WARRINGAH PRINTMAKERS STUDIO ANNUAL EXHIBITION 2012
Studio members will showcase their prints at the Sydney Antique Centre Gallery, 531 South Dowling Street Surry Hills, from Saturday 17 December to mid January 2013. Lots of time to come and see original handmade prints by students, teachers, committee and other full members of the Studio.
Here’s some of my work in the show – layered Monotypes on tissue with encaustic.
Yesterday I gave a talk at Manly Gallery to accompany the Leave Nothing but Prints Exhibition. Since I worked quite hard on it, (I find it very difficult to write about my own work) I thought I might publish it here, because it is an explanation of my approach. It was quite long, so I’ll have to publish it in a few parts.I hope you find it worth reading. This first part is illustrated with my photographs.
Why do I make prints?
The things that attracted me to printmaking were things I couldn’t find in painting, though others might. I am immensely attracted to paper, because I am really attracted to the surface of things. I make the joke that I am deeply superficial!
Through printmaking, I work with the paper, layering the images onto it, and trying to make the most of those happy accidents that are the gift of the printmaking gods from time to time. I look for marks I can make to create a seductive surface which will draw the viewer in. I have grown to love the random, the accidental, the gestural where the nature of the marks I make leaves room for a kind of visual exploration of the surface.
My images are about surface, rather than form, line, colour and so on. I am attempting to evoke a feeling, or a mood, through the surfaces I create.
Angela Noble from Bega arrived to stay with us, which makes five women in the house. She bought us a whole kilo of Aussie Uncle Toby’s Oats, some home made candied cumquat and Cointreau and some Ferrero Rocher chocolates. I think she must have an innate understanding that living in Venice and walking everywhere, the body needs constant refuelling to maintain stasis.
Together, the five of us have pledged to support the ailing Italian economy as best we can. We have been pretty tireless in our efforts so far, though some of us have worked harder than others.
Angela hasn’t even begun, but then she’s barely just arrived.
I found a small children’s press, Editions Du Dromedaire,
which has just published a two year calendar containing hand printed linocuts of camels.
Various minor disasters befell us yesterday:
1. Daphne washed her knickers, and in pegging them, Venetian style, to the washing line outside her window, saw two pairs flutter down like white doves to the children’s playground four floors below. Would her language skills be up to retrieving them while maintaining her dignity? Answer: Yes. Always. She is a woman of style.
2. We returned from the studio exhausted from a full day of printing to find the power had failed. No electric light, no hot water. Non Fontionna. ( The very first sentence we heard in Italian on our arrival in Venice! Was it a sign? ) Appeals to have it fixed seemed to go nowhere. It would be OK tomorrow. It is what you should expect in a seventeenth century building. We were being a bit precious. Look at the view of the canal! How to respond? We dined by candlelight and awaited the morning. Pollo con limone e aglio and ratatouille followed by panforte, accompanied by prosecco.
Late today, as promised, power was restored, and with it, communications.
3. Nicki and I got lost. Again.
4. Nicki has been bitten on the thigh several times, but not by a gondolier.
However, we had some success in the studio. We made two prints from the plates we had prepared. The plates are made from found materials sourced in Venice, including a bit of our building which had fallen off onto the balcony. Non Fontionna. So theres a little piece of the seventeenth century in our print.
The inked plates on the press bed.
Our finished print : The Textures of Venice. The colors are the reds and browns of the city. The next one will be in jade green, aqua and blue and we have begun to make the plates for it. Conditions in the studio make it very difficult to make work to the standard one would achieve at home, but we are pleased with what we have achieved so far.
We have porridge! Daphne and Nicki found some fiocchi d’avena at the Rialto. Not the a plastic bag full of rough cut oats, but a very sophisticated tin. It remains to be seen what the contents look like.
Despite last nights experience, I took the wrong vaporetto again this morning, and arrived at the studio late and a bit distracted. Daphne and Nicki arrived sometime later, and both spent some time
on the drypoint I had started. Here’s Daphne working away:
We had another studio lunch – this time penne with tuna and tomato, and a special lamb shaped Easter cake contributed by Melody, like a panettone. Here we all are:
Christa, Stefano, Gianfranco, Christiana, Melody, Nicki and Daphne with the remnants of the cake.
Christa is making a book which includes her drawings and poetry.