The works that I had been doing now seemed too constructed, or fabricated, and I wanted to move to a simpler and more direct technique where the marks could speak for themselves. Having experimented a lot with monotype, and realising what beautiful, sensitive and immediate marks I could make with that technique if I forgot about formal imagery and just went with the flow of surface, I moved on to a series of panels based on the shapes of letters. I noticed that when presented in a manner which stripped them of any meaning, letters could flow thoughtlessly from my hand. Like a madwoman, I turn up the music and draw the letters of the alphabet over and over again. Sometimes I layer several colours onto the image.
These are transfer monotypes. In this process, you roll out a colour, carefully place the paper face down on top, and draw through the back. The drawing tool forces the paper into direct contact with the ink, and the drawing is transferred to the paper. As part of the technique, the letters are reversed so they don’t make any sense, and the eye can concentrate on the graphic shapes made by the letters.
There’s just been a hiatus involving root canal therapy, teaching a workshop, and a friend visiting, but I intend to complete these posts related to my practice by hook or by crook!
Now I wanted to escape the constraints of the paper. Traditionally, prints are placed on the paper with a border all around. Now I moved to making images comprised of layers of tissue paper joined together in long scroll forms. The light could penetrate them to show more than one level of imagery.
Unframed, they float, and move with the air currents. They appear very delicate, but are actually strong. These works dealt with the colonisation of Australia and the displacement of Aboriginal culture, which had no written language, so I began to introduce text.
Here are a couple of details from works in the series, so you can see the texture of the paper. To see the full image, go to the printmaking page of the blog.
*A Midden is an old dump for domestic waste, or occupation site which reveals a great deal about the way people lived.