Oh! It’s been absolutely ages… Time flew and condensed and dragged and became a thing of wonder. I realise I’ve not posted anything at all for over a year! But I’m super happy to announce that the Victoria and Albert Museum have made a short film about my linocut and monoprint process, and it captures the dreamy mood of creativity very well.

Filmmaker Marissa Keating and cameraman Michael Jones spent a lovely morning in my house, filming me and interviewing me about my process.

They tiptoed around and drank my tea (Iron Goddess of Mercy, no less) and made me feel calm and at ease. Then we walked to the studio, East London Printmakers, to film more printing action using the big beautiful cast iron presses there.

The music was composed especially for the film by Steve Baker (www.stevebakermusic.com), who was inspired by my image of Cassiopeia (the girl looking up at the night sky), which I would love to make into an animation… one day… when I find a spare moment…!

I felt very privileged to watch music being composed, in real time, but I guess it’s a similar alchmical mystery that happens when images are created too.

Anyway, to watch the film, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltiskoXIK2I

 

IMG_9539Last week, The Royal Mint held a party to celebrate the Chinese New Year 2016 and the new Lunar Monkey coin at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

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This tiny linocut I made in Italy in the Summer of 2014 has become a gigantic poster!IMG_9541

There was champagne…IMG_9597

…and classical Chinese music playing.IMG_9702

IMG_9583I gave a talk about the process of designing this coin, inspired by Rhesus Monkeys and their cheeky tricksIMG_9620

The one kilogram solid gold coin was on display. The edition size is eight, and seven have sold already, at a handsome price of £42,500 each.IMG_9587IMG_9584

Here are some of the engraving tools, the dies and the polishing sticks used by the master crafts people at The Royal Mint.IMG_9580

It was great to share the event with my mum…IMG_9745…some happy Year of the Monkey customers…

… and old and new friends!

IMG_7607There is more information on the series at The Royal Mint website.

http://www.royalmint.com/features/lunar-series

http://www.royalmint.com/our-coins/events/lunar-year-of-the-monkey-2016

The Royal Mint and the Victoria and Albert Museum went to town last week, with an amazing party for the launch of the new Lunar Calendar Coin series, starting with the year of the horse 2014. The building was lit with a festive red glow, and there were banners displaying my design, a wall of champagne, coins and linocuts in cases on display, a video of the making process and lots of of friendly faces. It was practically like a wedding! 

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My photographer friend, Chris McLennan, took some pictures of the event, my talk and the showcases displaying the coins and prints.

Copyright Chris McLennan

Talking about my observations as a vet

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Image of Chinese Horse brush paintings

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The first coin design mock up

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Gold!

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Silver!

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Proof quality coins

Looking very happy and holding the five ounce coin

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The dies used for stamping the coins, plus a linocut of the Uffington Horse

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Some of my earlier prints

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Close up of the coins and diesMAC_9941This is the second linocut of the horse that I made for this project

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A huge poster of the horse print

My talk was about how lucky I felt to be selected for this commission, but that also it felt like a very good fit for my skills: in that I have animal knowledge from training and working as a vet, while also art experience with over 25 years of making prints.

Although there was food and drink fit for royalty being served, I was whisked away for interviews with China Central TV, China Radio International, China Daily UK, and Lavender’s Blue Magazine. The location was in a side gallery of the Victoria and Albert Museum, which had, aptly, a huge altarpiece of St. George on a magnificent horse.

Here is a link to the video footage in English (minutes 14:00-16:33 ) from CNC news and the link to footage in Chinese from the Xinhua network (approx 25 minutes in).

Lavender Blue’s article is here.

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St George on a horse, killing the dragon

The Royal Mint had also produced a beautiful publication and a video for the launch, so I felt incredibly honoured to be part of this experience, and also very happy to share the occasion with the friends and family who made it along.

Copyright Chris McLennan

Copyright Chris McLennan

Copyright Chris McLennan

Copyright Chris McLennan

Copyright Chris McLennan

I have to say one of the best bits about the whole event was seeing my parents so proud… IMG_2278