Beyond the Moon, my solo show in Aberystwyth, finished last month, but I was compelled to make one final print, of the moon itself. Originally I was inspired by Ariosto’s epic poem “Orlando Furioso” from 1516, where the moon is portrayed as a place where all things wasted on earth are kept and treasured: unnoticed emotions, unredeemable time and money, broken promises and unanswered prayers.
The moon thus symbolises hope and forgiveness, and allows potential realities to take form. I wanted to make a moon that shines with a soft light, and that gives off an atmosphere of ambiguity.
I work in a cross disciplinary way, so the image started as a linocut, which I photographed and manipulated in photoshop. From these I made multiple separations which were printed digitally and made into screens. One of the advantages of screenprinting for me is the ease of layering translucent colour. I always make more colour separations than I need, and often spend a huge amount of time colour trial proofing all the combinations like a mad scientist, invariably til 2 or 3 in the morning.
I don’t have enough computer knowledge to be able to plan the print on the computer, but anyway even if I did know how, I don’t think it would be as fun as getting messy in the print room. As a result, most of my silkscreen prints take shape during the colour trial stage. This time round, there were proofs that resembled aging cheese, some semi-fluorescent greenish moons, and pinkish moons that really looked like the sun. Finally the classic colours of navy blue, black and a kind of shimmery pearlescent lilac won the day.
It’s a 3 colour silkscreen on somerset satin paper and measures 50 x 75.5 cm. I’m hoping to take it with me to Portland Oregon for the summer, as I have been invited to take part in a new collaborative residency with the Lan Su Chinese classical garden, with a show opening there in August!