Here is an earlier article about Penelope’s solo show
Monthly Archives: December 2014
Earlier this year I undertook a task which involved pushing the one plate to its limits. Using etching, sugar lift, acquatint, burnishing and literally cutting the plate up. It was most interesting to see how each student approached this project. However this is my outcome. Note that I made a separate edition of one of the plates in a wine red ink…just because.
Unique State Prints. Printed A la Poupee using plate tone to intentionally create further depth, contrast and atmosphere.
Provoked Pain Etching, 2014 & Provoked Pain Etching II, 2014 (editions of 5)
An earlier post of these images shows them in their final state with acquatint applied however the initial states of an etching can sometimes be the most elegant in their simplicity. An etched line relies on draftsmanship to inform shape and tone as opposed to other processes. Cross hatching with fine marks inscribed with a drypoint needle is how these images have been achieved.
Also of note, is the push and pull of imagery within both of these prints. A portrait is worked simultaneously with a facial tissue sculpture. The morphing of forms more direct than as evident in the later prints incorporating acquatint.
This series of prints are specific to an exploration of emotion from a distinctly female perspective. They incorporate the use of red wine, facial tissues and coffee as recurring motifs within my practice and life cycles whilst once again alluding to depth be it emotional or physical. Another present concept is my private joke about the pointlessness of aiming for ‘perfection’ (as a construct) in both the relationship and domestic spheres as perfection arises from acknowledging and celebrating our imperfections.
These prints incorporate a diverse range of printmaking techniques and processes including both relief and intaglio methods with several collograph plates, stencils and viscosity rolls.
Notions of the domestic are evidenced by the use of wallpapers which provide an intentional nostalgic vibe exaggerated by the sepia tones achieved with the coffee printing. A mixed subtle colour provided the first viscosity roll atop the wallpaper and again later with the stenciling of three repeated geometric shapes in rose wine. This method provides an unsaturated inking effect thus increasing the reading of nostalgia for its lack of perfection via the breaking up of a surface which I find most appealing.
The ovals, circles and squares reference the cubic and rectangular tissue boxes which house facial tissues and the plastic lips and orifices which you pull the tissues out through.
All layers are visible. The visual linking of memory and the present via the rose wine hued colours adjacent to and yet through the coffee tones conceptually assists as a short term bandage for an in-the-moment hurt. The use of wine for self-healing properties provokes the need for mass consumption of (water and) coffee the following day.
‘All layers are visible’ is a lovely statement about the development of character, strength and beauty arising out of personal trauma, one…layer…at-a-time. This also eludes to the lack of privacy we now have although largely self imposed via our social media engagement and interpersonal interactions.
Emotional processing is different for everyone and yet many rituals people undertake at these times are the same. It is this engagement with the materiality of objects, interacted with during such times, which is of interest. Items such as tissues, fluffy pillows, comforting photographs and cheerful flowers are some such examples which may be specific to how a person individually comes to terms with and eventually accepts private vulnerabilities.
Much of my work during 2013 to present has included wine as subject and object both as literally used within the artworks by the incorporation of actual alcohol and as perhaps a less positive approach to heart-ache-self-management. The same can be said for my recurring motif of facial tissues, tissue boxes and associated shapes.
The Coffee Series prints once again draw on the tissue box and shapes motif however deal specifically with the ‘morning after’ heart-ache-self-management approach. The alcohol this time is therefore inferred in place of directly utilized. However coffee is present in the work. In fact, the work has a distinct scent of instant coffee ‘Nescafe Gold’ as the artworks are infused with it as a printing device/ink.The coffee printed more and the ink less with subsequent pulls of the press which was a lovely surprise and creates the variation and push-pull present in the 3 versions of each plate.
I would love these collograph prints to be picked up by a down-to-earth cafe somewhere where they could just be pinned to the walls and the customers encouraged to get up close and catch a whiff of the coffee scent. The textures you can see in the images are embossed into the fine art printmaking (BFK Reeves) paper and are most attractive viewed in person.
This series consists of;
4 plates printed 3 times each from the initial inking: small prints 24 x 19 cm (small variations)
1 large plate printed 3 times from the initial inking: 50 x 73 (small variations)