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I’ve got a few things lined up for the first months of this year…

  • Firstly, my solo show, Beyond the Moon in Aberystwyth School of Art Gallery is still on; it will close on the 8th February. This is aptly the date of the new moon which signals Chinese New Year!

Andrew McPherson, the inventor of the magnetic resonator piano, is planning to create more sounds that respond to the work on the wall, and we shall have a closing event on the 1st and 2nd of February. There will also be new beautiful limited edition 32 page catalogue available to purchase for £10 (please contact me if you would like a copy of your own).

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  • Next up, in London, I have a print from the shadow dance series in the 75th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wood Engravers at the Bankside Gallery, 48 Hopton Street, London SE1 9JH, from 29th January – 10th February. I shall be giving a demonstration of Japanese woodblock on the afternoon of 10th February.
  • Further up north, I am an invited artist for Impressit curated by Pete Clarke, Tracy Hill and Magda Stawarska Bevan at The Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Market Square, Preston PR1 2PP from the 23rd February – 29th April. I have been invited to display 16 of the dancing dresses, and shall reprint them in pairs for this show, as well as installing the animation in the space. The private view is scheduled for 1st March, and I shall be there, enjoying all that Preston has to offer! I am also teaching a workshop on printmaking that day.
  • In March I shall visit Belgium for the 9th International Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Prints in Liege, in the Salles Saint-George, Beaux Arts de Liege, where they have bravely accepted all 40 of the dancing dresses and the animation. I shall give a demonstration of my techniques at the Liege academy while I am there.
  • And finally, back to Wales it will be in late March for another show, Between Spaces, which will be at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre from 23rd March to 11 May. For this one, I think I might be making something new…

One day, when they’ve made a teletransporter that doesn’t scramble you into a million pieces when you get reassembled, I’ll be able to invite everyone to visit my show, even if they live a million miles away… In the meantime, here’s some photos and a video. The weird cracking noise on the video is my knee- too much jumping around on concrete I think! I absolutely love the sound of the piano which transformed the space into a performance venue and changed the viewing of the work into a piece of drama.



 

Click on this picture below to view a video we made of the show, with the piano playing on its own.

And here’s a picture of me looking pleased!

In all the fluster of New Orleans, I forgot to mention I’m in quite a few shows in the UK and abroad in the next few weeks.

1) Kicking it off will be a group show called Spring at the Smokehouse, with 50 artists all responding to the theme of spring. That show opens on Thursday 5th April more details are here. I’ll be showing my new dancing dress animation, Shift, in a vertical format, with a dress flying above it on the wall. There will be many other friends and colleagues at this show so please come and check it out.

2) I’ve been invited to be a guest artist in the 8th British Miniprint show, which opens on the 12th April in London Print Studio. My print is a big one, to show off how cute and small the other prints are, I’m sure! Other guest artists include Guy Langevin, He Weimin and Ana Maria Pacheco. More details here.

3) On that same day, I have 3 books in the 6th International Artist’s Book Triennial, Vilnius, Lithuania, 2012, on the theme of Love. All my books are about love, I realise. More details here.

4) Next up will be a group Lino show, Linoleum: The Cutting Edge, in Hemingway art, Oxfordshire, opening on the 14th and a celebratory steam roller event on the 28th April, more details here.

LINOLEUM art show invitation

This is from the blurb: Artists from the UK, USA and Germany present works that push the boundaries of the seemingly simple linocut artform, through large-scale prints, installation and animated films. The artists are Victoria Browne, Steve Edwards, Bill Fick, Wuon-Gean Ho, Scott Minzy, Nick Morley, Carsten Nicolaus, Chris Pig, Peter Rapp and Mark Andrew Webber.

5) I’m in the Glasgow International Book Fair on the 28 and 29th April, with East London Printmakers, should be a fun event.

6) Finally, one month away, but counting down, I have a solo show in Ludlow, Material gallery, opening on the 6th May.

PS) Oh yes, just got mentioned in the Guardian on Friday, my book cover for the Tiger’s Wife was singled out as different from the rest, in a good way. Nice!

Click on the dress or on the following link to see the 3 second dress test. It has been an interesting and slow process making intermediate frames from the 40 linocuts that I’ve made over the past year. I’ve made over 1000 frames. The final piece needs music and some poetic timing, but it’s almost done, hooray! Test animation ghost dress

The beginning of January was the last chance to see the Big Ass Linocut show in London: where megalomaniac linocut makers gathered at the High Roller Society to show off their huge linocut skills. My prints Shadow Dance Together and Shadow Dance Apart were shown there, along with the animation Lucid Mask.

The show is going to evolve and expand when it moves to its next location, Hemingway Art in Oxfordshire in April this year.

Next up, I’m excited to be involved in the 6th International Artist Book Triennial which opens in Venice on the 3rd February. The theme this year is Love, and three of my books have been selected: Devour (the girl who loves and devours a beast); Embrace (the book where the man and the woman are divided by the folds of the book so that they may not be viewed at the same time together); and Bamboo Dream (where a couple are dreaming of each other on accordion folded sheets that interleave as the book folds together).

For more information please see their website here

Finally, it is full speed ahead for making the final frames for the animation. Actually I started animating the dress, then realised I needed more in between frames, so here I am back in the studio printing away still.

I’m venturing back up north again on the 8th February as a guest of the University of Lancashire Talking Prints program. I’ll be talking about this latest work … Should be interesting, though I’ve not booked to stay long as I had such a cold time in Yorkshire last year…

I made my first trip to Australia last month to attend the IMPACT printmaking conference in Melbourne. It was a four day bonanza of print related fun, and there were lots of inspiring people, places, exhibitions and lectures.

It was well attended event with many people from all over the world as well as within Australia itself. There were at least 25 students from Adelaide,  printmakers from the Torres Strait islands, Indonesia, Brazil, Iran, the US, amongst others, and a good handful of UK representatives including Sarah Bodman and John Purcell!

I enjoyed seeing various print studios in Australia, especially the fantastic facilities in VCA (Victoria College of the Arts), whose facilities include an electric albion press that looks like a one armed bandit crossed with a flower press

APW (Australian Print workshop), who have a suspiciously clean workshop, does anyone actually ever spread ink around in there?

Megalo print studio in Canberra where I taught a workshop (felt like home from home, with a friendly vibe and the biggest fabric bed in Eastern Australia)but at the same time the most cute handmade vacuum table I have ever seen too…

The big print study room at the National Gallery Canberra where we spent a happy few hours looking at Rauchenbergs and Stellas up close, courtesy of the Ken Tyler bequest

ANU (Australian National University), with a vast printmaking unit that would fit in the whole of East London Printmakers in one corner of their etching roomwith some terrifying signs on the walls

and some funny signs up on the walls

and a small printmaking studio in Araluen cultural institute in the desert, that even had a steamer and facilities for discharge printing, though everything seemed very unused.

The lectures at IMPACT were a bit patchy to be honest. I was shocked at the poor quality of the skype presentations and the pHD students who mumbled their thesises to themselves with lack of conviction. There were also many talks that really didn’t have much practical content, which was surprising considering the practical nature of the subject, or talks which spent a very long time saying very little (or am I just an untrained sceptic? Too many of the keywords “materiality” or “Derrida” were used for my liking!)

However, I really enjoyed the talk on Mike Parr by John Loane, a long term collaborative printmaker, who was very eloquent on his creative process. Other highlights were lectures on book arts, especially one on how dance may be incorporated into books by Jude Walton (“The proprioception of a book”) and one on book alterations by Inge Hanover (a lady who searches secondhand book stores for books which have been dedicated to others, or marked with tears, coffee and doodles).

There was the usual raft of talks on digital technology (“printmakers are scavengers of technology originally developed for other purposes”) and on Thai and Indonesian printmakers Prawat and Heri Dono.

The exhibitions were also varied. Some names just came up again and again, both in the university shows and in the city wide satellite shows, and I wanted to see more variety. For example, Angela Cavalieri makes large linocuts of text in Italian, carved in a chunky repetitive fashion. They are distinctive prints, but very illustrative. It was impressive that her work was present in 7 different venues but gave me the impression there was a lack of diversity in the choice of artwork.

I enjoyed seeing some of the Australian and Aboriginal artworks, and would have loved to see more local work from the Pacific region as well as south east Asia.

There was a fantastic demonstration of paste printing by Chika Ito who showed how she makes ink with boiled up rice flour and various organic natural dyes including strong tea! With these pastes she makes beautiful translucent silkscreen prints which are colour fast and very natural and non toxic.

In Melbourne itself, Robert Heather showed me around the National Library of Victoria which had a book art show on the first floor, as well as a stunning collection of printed maps and books from their archives, particularly of the natural flora and fauna drawn by European artists when they first colonised the country. We also visited the RMIT satellite shows including a box set exhibition exchange organised by Melanie Yazzie, called Fold, which was fantastic, and a lovely show of prints by Tate Adams, the artist who established the print programme in RMIT in the 60s (?), whose bold black and white prints are dynamic and graphic.

It was nice to meet lots of friendly printmakers from the UK as well as NZ, Canada and the States as well as the local crowd (especially the huge numbers from Adelaide) at the conference. Below from left to right are Glynnis and Jacqueline from Darwin Northern Editions (collaborative printmakers both) and Ann Cunningham from Melbourne who kindly had me stay at her house during the conference

Finally, one of my highlights was the chance to show my latest series of dancing dress prints that are going to make up an animation, and display my artist’s books to the conference attendees. I got a lot of positive feedback and interest, and it made my month!

Wooo hoo, a whole month of August in the UK for the first time in 5 years. (Hmmmmmmmm, I’m not sure if it was worth it, as the sun failed to appear, we had major crazy riots on our doorstep, and all my jobs suddenly got a lot more demanding!)

What creativity happened this month was mainly in the form of making more frames (more dresses) for the animation that is so clear in my mind. I worked on 10 new prints, which must have been a print every 3 days or so. The parallel lines and repetitive marks are a self imposed language of restriction to see what will happen with a simply pared down undulating line. The whole month’s work culminated with an exhibition in Forman’s Smokehouse Gallery in East London- a huge exhibition space in an impressive olympic site style building- as part of a group show called “The Fishwick Papers” with 50 other members of East London Printmakers.

I was super lucky as the centre of the gallery space is divided with a huge steel framed pair of columns rising up from the factory floor where salmon are smoked, which provided a perfect setting for the dresses as an installation. I put one set of dresses facing outwards and another set facing the cylindrical pipes, which were so shiny they reflected the dresses back again. The dresses look like skins and much like the twisted fish that hang on strings downstairs.

These aren’t good photos- I realise I must go back and take some more that are more descriptive… Anyway, if you get the chance please go and have a look for yourself!  Here is the blurb

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Forman’s Smokehouse Gallery is proud to present “The FishWick Papers”, an exhibition of works by 50 members of the studio East London Printmakers, inspired by the liveliness and colour of the Hackney Wick area and its printmaking heritage. Artists have researched how Hackney Wick presents itself at this moment, the history and future of the area, the many lives of people we have never known and will never know, their trades and stories, and they have also taken inspiration from Fish Island and the Smokehouse itself.

The exhibition presents an extensive range of highly imaginative approaches to most traditional and modern printmaking techniques in a broad spectrum of scales and formats. It includes work by Dolores de Sade (British Institution Award 2011, J K Burt Award 2010, Ede and Ravenscroft Award 2010), Wuon-Gean Ho (Printmakers Council Price 2009 and Birgit Skiold Memorial Trust Prize 2010), Fabio Coruzzi (BBC production 2011 “Show me the Monet” 2011) and Umberto Giovannini (Premio Guidarello 2009).
The exhibition was inspired by William Chamberlain (Forman’s Smokehouse Gallery) and curated by Katja Rosenberg and Charmaine Watkiss (East London Printmakers).

http://smokehousegallery.org/

East London Printmakers (ELP) is a group of artist printmakers based in Hackney, managing a spacious and modern printmaking studio providing an open access facility for a wide range of processes. ELP also runs workshops for anyone who wants to learn printmaking and organise regular exhibitions and events for members.

www.eastlondonprintmakers.co.uk

The exhibition will be open Opening times: Thu – Fri 5-9pm and Sat – Sun 12-5pm and by appointment (07799 411 587).
Formans Restaurant will be open during the private view and at all times during the show.