I’ve finally got round to photographing the Orchis prints (which make up the images in the Orchis books) on their own. Each print is 20 cm high and 91 cm long; on a webpage they tend to look like a smallish black squiggle. So I’ve added in close-ups in a section below each main image, which allows you to see more of the detailed carving and printing.
The prints are linocuts carved on three panels of Japanese vinyl, printed with black sakura ink on lambeth cartridge paper with a French American tool press, which has exerted enough pressure to stretch the print by 1-2 cm longer than the original blocks. Some prints (Orchis 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9) have been wiped and re-inked to achieve the different depth of greys. Some prints (not photographed here) have had a small bit of red colour pencil drawn on top to add highlights.
Orchis Four as a flat print has been accepted to the Society of Wood Engravers’ annual touring show, and will start off by being displayed in Bath.
79th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wood Engravers, 44AD Art Gallery, 4 Abbey St, Bath BA1 1NN 44AD Gallery 11 Oct – 5 Nov. Private View: Saturday 15 October, 2.30 – 5.30pm. http://www.woodengravers.co.uk/79th-at-44ad-gallery-bath/
When the prints are folded into a book format they become a very different object: the long panorama is collapsed into a set of shapes that bring separate parts of the image close to each other. For me, books are portable, secretive and tactile. The images are read individually, rather than remaining in constant comparison.
A complete set of Orchis books will be displayed in the University of the West of England in Bristol in February 2017. More details to come.