Sadly my time in the printmaking workshops at the University of Brighton has come to an end for now but I hope that more options for later in the year may line up elsewhere. It has been a great opportunity to work alongside BA and MA students and to learn some new skills.
I’m pleased to have finished with several completed prints – six sets in total – slightly less than the ten I’d aimed for but maybe that was a bit over-ambitious and didn’t take into account my usual high failure rate!
One of the great things about printmaking is the opportunity it offers to try things out in different combinations, different colours and on different papers, probing potential for new areas of activity.
In some ways the most satisfying thing is that I feel as if I have pinned down the first step in my new project – perhaps even the first wall in the new exhibition I’m working towards, with these works which I think carry a collective title of “In the beginning was Simplicity”.
Here are my top four favourites:
I guess one of the interesting things for me during this process has been the reinforcement of the tendency I have to start from a point of complexity and gradually pare back detail until I’m left with something quite minimal. This is a disconcerting process because the end result often seems sparse and bare, but it seems to be part of a process of ordering and analysis and critical thinking which I use to try and break down complex ideas and make sense of things.
Talking to students has made me think that sometimes we start out with a vision of the sort of artist we want to be, and our early years are spent striving towards becoming that artist. Sometimes along the way, it becomes clear that we just cannot be that artist, for whatever reason – perhaps we don’t have the skill or the patience, or perhaps our minds or our hands just don’t work the way they need to to become that artist we so admire. This is disappointing, frustrating… but at least once that realisation has been made we can begin to focus on being the artists we are.
Although my printmaking period has finished, this is still only the begining of this long term project working towards an exhibition which I’m planning for 2018-19 and I’ll most certainly still be posting updates – so watch this space!