A conversation 23/10/07 Irena Czapska (IC) Peter Reddick (PR)
IC Peter, we have been friends for over 10 years and as artists we have a continuous dialogue about practice. Tell me what attracted you to wood engraving in particular and print in general. PR When I was about 16 and like the gosling emerging from the egg into awareness, I met the books by HE Bates - Down the River and the other Through the Woods. They were both illustrated with wood engravings by Agnes Miller Parker and were romantic visions of the countryside. So I was enthralled by the medium and convinced that I wanted to be a book illustrator. IC I know you feel that the printed image should be accessible to all. Do you feel that printmaking can still be viewed this way?
PR Yes I do, as I have always felt that as wood engravings are easy to print and as you could print hundreds without any degradation of the image, there is a case for not limiting the edition. The limited edition is partly an artificial thing done for the benefit of galleries â€“ so I have always kept some prints as non-limited editions to keep the prices low and some for galleries as limited editions. IC Much of your work has been illustrating nineteenth century classics by authors such as Hardy, Trollope and Wordsworth which may lock you into an era. Do you feel that has happened? Do you feel that you have had to stay in a particular vein of work? PR Well, commissions are a great stimulus. It just happened that I was lucky enough to get all the Hardy novels to do at the rate of one a year. IC Well thatâ€™s a fantastic commission!
Peter Reddick retrospective show at Spike Island, Bristol