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My work in level 5 was mainly focussed on traces. This lead into traces that people leave by walking. This can include physical traces such as their footprints or the non-physical traces such as memories that we make, journeys that we take etc.

Over the summer break I went travelling to India, where I lived for a year in 2012/13. This is what has inspired my work for level 6 work. I am inspired by the colours, festivals, textiles of the places that I have travelled to, but I have also been inspired by the insight into women’s lives that I had whilst living out there.

In the last semester I have worked with the laser cut, to help to design some woodcut prints in the style of traditional woodblock printing. With these prints I intend to carry on with these to try different techniques. I have cut out a block using the laser cutter and I have cut out a block by hand. I want to try the differences using different techniques. I am expecting the laser cut print to be much more defined and accurate, as you can get a deeper depth and accuracy to the block when cutting it. However in traditional woodcut in India the blocks are cut by hand and for this reason I want to try to print from the hand cut block. In India the traditional method of block printing is being over taken by machine and factory made items, which loses the authenticity.

I have also developed some techniques and designs for screen printing. This will be a good way of developing my idea of making a large-scale fabric piece, which will also be wearable in a similar way to the traditional sari. The piece will have layers of design on it with different images of women and also traditional decoration. So far I have cut out my stencil for a large scale screen and printed this onto A0 fabric and paper. The technique worked well but there were areas that I was not happy with. Due to the size of the screen and the stencil cut the print did not come fully through the screen meaning that parts of the print were missed off. To develop this I am planning to make the stencil and the print smaller and instead of just using one layer, use multiple layers. This technique of screen printing has become the more prominent area in my work and the area that I wish to continue with the most in my upcoming work.

For me the element of trace comes into my work, as I am using images and photographs taken from my memories and my travels. They are traces of my journey and also traces of the lives of the women that I have met. There are also elements of trace in my work through embracing the naturals marks and mistakes made in my print. I think that these are something to be embraced and not ashamed about, as they are a sign of the process and the authenticity of the work. You can see these traces of process, quite predominantly in the left image, where I have printed the screen onto fabric. Due to the tautness of the screen and the looseness of the fabric some areas around the edges have failed to print leaving behind traces of the ink.

In the current work that I have been doing with the screen-printing I have been inspired by many screen print artists. One of these is Helen Marten.

Helen Marten uses sculpture, screen printing and her own writing to produce installations that are full of references, from the contemporary to the historical, and the everyday to the enigmatic.” (Marten, 2016)

I went to see the turner prize exhibition in London and this is where I came across Marten’s work. I particularly enjoyed the way that she combined sculpture and print within her work, which is something that I have used in my level 5 work and is something that I would like to include in my on-going practice. With Marten’s turner prize exhibition I particularly liked the way that she juxtaposed big bold screen prints with the small everyday objects. This in itself posed questions to me as to the story behind the object and the meaning. The traces and memories that these objects held and their relationship to the prints and the artist.

Other artist’s works that particularly inspire me are Christopher Loos and Barthelemy Togue. I take inspiration from both of these artists in my work, as I am interested in the way that they display their print plates alongside their print, adding an element of sculpture or installation to their work. I am really interested in this combination. In level 5 I displayed my prints with a plaster of Paris sculpture piece. In Level 6 I wish to do a similar thing with my work, if this translates to block printing then I think that I would be interesting to display the printing plate alongside the artwork. This also adds another element of trace and process to the work, allowing the viewer to be able to see the process used.

The techniques that I want to develop through my upcoming work are printing; mainly screen print, I plan to use layers and a wide variety of both silkscreen printing and hand cut stencils to develop a more bodied print, that contain more depth and trace of process. I also plan to work into these prints more, using other mediums and techniques. I plan to sew into them and also paint and draw into them. Whilst developing these prints I also plan to work on my wood cut designs, developing the two different methods from the laser cut method to the hand cut method.

For me working onto fabric is a really important aspect of my work as it links into the context of my work. My work is about women and Indian culture. For women in this culture the way they express their personality is through their clothes. I think that this is something that is true all around the world throughout many different cultures. This is why I wish to make my work on fabric and also make the fabric so that it has a wearable quality. I may also choose to add some elements of my own personality, my own journey and my own experiences whilst travelling and experiences these other cultures.



Marten, H. (2016) Turner prize 2016: Helen Marten. Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/turner-prize-2016/about-artists/helen-marten (Accessed: 5 February 2017).

Martin, R. (2000) Sculptural printmaking. Available at: http://www.robertmartin.biz/printmaking-art_574/sculptural_printmaking.html (Accessed: 5 February 2017).


What am I inspired by?

*20 minutes of writing uninterrupted

I take the majority of inspiration from my travels. I spent a year living in India when I was 19. I lived within a community of people in the south of India in a small town called Ongole. It is small, in terms of India but massive in comparison to English towns – bigger than Ipswich. I lived in a hostel with about 150 girls aged between 3 and 19, who became like sisters to me. We lived with them, ate with them, I taught in the school that they went to, teaching English to them and playing games and doing arts and crafts with them to help them learn. It was one of the best years of my life. Within this being immersed in their life I got to immerse myself into Indian culture. I experienced festivals, one of my favourite being the festival of colour Holi. I wore saris and Punjabis everyday as part of my uniform at the school and also because I felt it helped me to blend in better.


We also got the opportunity to travel around the country as part of our breaks for teaching so I have been to loads of places in India and experienced all the different sides of India. I recently re kindled my love for their culture after I went back there for 12 weeks over the summer with my partner. We got to experience traditional block printing in the factory and bought some beautiful fabrics.


I love all the colours and textures that India provides but I am also inspired by the lives of the people that I met whilst out there; they were mainly women that inspired me. I have met plenty of women or girls out there that have been discriminated against due to their gender in their culture and country but yet they are so powerful and strong which is inspiring. I met a women whilst I was travelling and she was only 19 and already 4 children and was pregnant again, to an abusive husband and yet her faith (she was Christian) kept her strong, we worked within a Christian based establishment and the lady that was my Indian mother worked within the local villages to empower women through faith. I love the strength of women, who are in a bad situation and yet they become strong through empowerment and other women giving them strength. I want to highlight these strong and powerful women in my work, I like my work to be big bold and confronting similar to those women attitudes that I experienced.


I have been working with layered prints in my work, using layers of screen prints and mixed media. I have mainly been inspired by the work of Chris Offili but I have been looking at other artists as well such as Christopher Wool and Sigmar Polke. I find that mixed media and screenprinting helps me to get the scale in my work and also the bold prints and patterns mimicking the colours and experiences I had whilst travelling. I am interested in printing on fabric inspired by the textile industry in India and the importance of it. And also the way that it is so important to women as it is a way of expressing themselves through their sarees, their sarees are beautiful all individual and decorated to perfection. One of the things I took from my year in the importance of following what you want to do despite what society tells you that you can do, one of the girls I was living with called Kranthi (18) wanted to be a nurse and she worked hard to get into college, she came from a low caste, a poor family who couldn’t afford to look after her so put her in a hostel to give her an education and she went on to go the university to learn. We became really good friends and I was so proud of her for being what she wanted to be despite being told otherwise by every element in her life.


Using the work that I have been doing towards my woodcut designs and developing a simplistic design similar to the styles seen in Indian paintings and Japanese wood block print, I have developed a design for my screen print. The design is a woman with her face covered; in Indian culture and also a variety of different religions such as Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism, all prevalent religions in Indian culture, modesty is very important. For this reason I have drawn the woman with her head covered with a scarf. However during my travels I have met lots of women who choose to oppose these traditions and therefore I have chosen to make the woman in my design have a deliberate gaze with the viewer, this is confronting and challenging, the complete opposite of modesty. I have chosen to work big for this piece of work, as this is also the opposite of modesty. If something is small, it is intricate and hidden, and forces the viewer to look closely. If something is big, it forces the viewer to look, whether they want to or not. This is similar to the attitude and purpose of someone who is fighting against culture and traditions. These women are inspiring to me, as they aim to be who they are rather than who society wants them to be.

After cutting out the stencil for my screen print, I started printing. I chose a large scale A0 to do my print. The large scale and screen is powerful and forces to viewer to look. I chose to print them in a bright red colour, also due to this as the colour red in big and bold and powerful. Red also has links to Indian culture as it is a colour used in marriage ceremonies, in the clothing, its in spices and colours of paint used for festivals.

The printing process itself was very difficult. I had made the stencil so big that I could not reach the other side of the screen and had to ask for the technicians help. I had also neglected to leave an area for the excess ink to sit, which meant there was not a lot of room to move the ink around the screen. Due to the size of the screen and the stencil beneath the screen, the edges of my screen print also didn’t show up and left untidy marks on the sides of the print. This is due to the screen being taught at the edges and the ink will not penetrate through the screen to the paper below. In future print, I am going to look into using a smaller stencil and rather than doing one large scale print using smaller screen prints in layers to build up a larger image. I am also going to alter my image to possibly include text. I think that there is links that I can see in my work to the way that the media exploits women and this is something I want to investigate further. This could be through text and use of image. I also want to try to use different colours with this piece, as I want to see what the different colours effect the work.

Overall I do like the natural marks and traces of the process of printing, that were left behind in these prints that I have made. This is something that I want to develop and take forward. It has been suggested to me to look at the work of Christopher Wool, who uses screen printing in his own practice. He uses text and image and it is also possible to see the layers and join marks of the screens as evidence of the process.


Turner prize 2016:

I went to see the turner prize 2016 at the Tate Britain, which was won this year by Helen Marten. I was particularly inspired by her work; in terms of the way that she combines sculpture with printing. Her work featured screen prints, combined with the everyday object/readymades. This for me is something that I want to look at my own work, as I like sculptural printing and the combination of sculpture and print together to make work that is an installation. In my own work I am interesting in displaying the print plate with the print, as an element of trace in the work and also to show the process. I am not bothered by the accidental traces and marks in the print as to me this is part of the work and is what makes the work individual.

I also liked the work of Anthea Hamilton, whose piece in the turner prize exhibition was an idea for a doorway, which featured a large bottom, where the gap between the legs makes the opening to the doorway. I really liked this piece as last year I was working on large-scale sculpture and this piece fitted in really well with my project. The piece also fitted with the themes that my work is currently looking at; women, exploitation etc.


Feminist Avant Garde at the Photographers Gallery:

This exhibition was a collection of photography by feminist artists. As both Myself and Lizzy are looking at empowering/exploitation of women in our work, we went to see this exhibition. I really liked a lot of the pieces in the exhibition, especially those from the seductive body; sexuality and objectification section of the exhibition which featured several images from artists that focus on feminism from the point of view of objectification of women.

Within this exhibition I particularly liked the way that there was a lot of pieces where multiple images were displayed together as a collage of image. I really liked this style and this was also something that I saw whilst in the Czech Republic.