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The Expanded Field of Printmaking MICHELLE HALL, JO LANKESTER, MARGOT LAVER, ALISON MCDONALD, JENNY MULCAHY, HANNAH MURRAY, RHONDA STEVENS & ALAN VALENTINE

17 August to 23 September 2012 Umbrella Studio contemporary arts


The theme of collaboration and experimental have been interpreted by the Expanded Field of Printmaking artists uniquely with varying responses within the group. The sculptural element of print has been explored predominantly in pairs comprising a sculptor, ceramicist or installation based artist with a printmaker resulting in some of the most exquisite installation based printmaking ever seen in Townsville. Working in collaboration has been a first for some of the artists who have experienced quite profound outcomes personally and professionally. The process of collaboration, experimentation and innovation pushes each artist’s practice to cross new boundaries with exciting results.

Michelle Hall & Jo Lankester, Birds of a Feather 1, 2012, Mixed media

Alan Valentine, Print Studio 3, 2012, Steel wire, silver solder & paint

Birds of a Feather represents freedom and the aesthetic. Ultimately true collaboration is about being free in a partnership, that is a very rare thing. The suggestion of the birds is always of free birds for Hall because they are either outside the cage or only partly there. Lankester’s aesthetic approach to the collaboration is concerned with surface, texture, colour, sensibility, intuition, light and form. Bird cages are an object of beauty but contain a more repressive intention; here Lankester & Hall revoke that intention by practicality.

To collaborate jointly on a multi disciplinary printmaking project has been an interesting and expanding journey for both artists. One aspect of the collaborative process which was not anticipated and discovered through the course of action is how new ideas and the resulting works would not have been realised within a solo practice. Valentine and Lankester have worked to create small scale sculptures comprising key elements which both artists use in their current practice.

Alison McDonald & Hannah Murray, Phykos Fish, 2012, Upcycled PET plastic and ink, cotton, acetate and etching ink

Alison McDonald’s seaweed was inspired by a series of books, ‘Phycologia Australica’ on Australian seaweed by Professor William Harvey whilst here from Trinity College Dublin in 1858. “Collaboration with Hannah was ideal as our combined interest in fauna and flora fused well. Hannah developed her ideas and returned her printed marine creatures to me then generously allowed me to experiment with them, transforming them into relief creatures that migrate into the seaweed. Then we reversed roles by me printing from the Phykos series and stitching her plastic printed fish onto the print.”


Hannah Murray’s work directly responds to Alison McDonald’s seaweed sculptures. “I thoroughly enjoy working collaboratively with an artist and particularly the challenge of exploring creative solutions that respects and best complements the integrity of an artist and their practice. I found that whilst our processes may be different we share a very similar visual aesthetic and both work with found materials and plastics in their various states. The marine creatures or Phykos Fish is an extension of my interest in animal imagery, pattern and printmaking in non-toxic and non-traditional ways.“

Rhonda Stevens, Vibrato: minute and rapid variations in pitch (detail), 2012, Beaten, etched & intaglio patinated copper.

Margot Laver, Echoing, 2012, Copper, brass, raising, soldering, patina & inlay

Rhonda Steven’s present copper work has been inspired from her great admiration for bronze age antiquities and reflecting on the ancient artisans, their history, the symbology and the role of the warrior, and the use of shields to survive, to hide and to protect as we combat life. She is intrigued with humanity - the interconnections which help to make sense of our own identity - the rituals and customs of each generation and how the history of the past influences and informs the present. While contemplating these thoughts

she has experimented with the surface layering patinations and mark making in her “shields”.

Jenny Mulcahy, Fragments of life series (detail), 2012, Ceramic

Margot Laver describes her work Echoing as “Looking back over my life is now so clear to see the sequence. From birth to toddler, from carefree childhood to busy parenting, and making a living and then to grandparent. No matter what the culture or period in time I see this repetition as an echo. The naming of this piece is from William Blake’s poem The Echoing Green.” Jenny Mulcahy’s Fragments of Life series is a combination of monoprint techniques, coupled with the intense heat of the kiln has resulted in works which explore and highlight the delicacy and complexity of our natural environment. The Fragments of life series uses impressions taken from relief carvings and native flora to create imprints on wafer thin pieces of porcelain paste. The Carbon Trap series utilises a variety of image transfer methods including silk screened tissue transfers, powder, and impressions created by plant matter. All require intense heat to complete their integration into the clay body.


Front Cover (artwork details, clockwise from left): Alison McDonald & Hannah Murray, Phykos Fish, 2012, Upcycled PET plastic and ink, cotton, acetate and etching ink. Rhonda Stevens, Vibrato: minute and rapid variations in pitch, Beaten, etched and intaglio patinated copper. Jenny Mulcahy, After the rain: Fragments of Life series, Ceramic. Alan Valentine & Jo Lankester, Feather Roll, Etched aluminium plate, ink, steel, brass, wood. Michelle Hall & Jo Lankester, Birds of a Feather 1, 2012, Mixed media. Margot Laver, Echoing, Copper, brass, raising, soldering, patina, inlay. Back Cover (artwork details, clockwise from left): Michelle Hall & Jo Lankester, Birds of a Feather 1, 2012, Mixed media. Rhonda Stevens, Vibrato: minute and rapid variations in pitch, Beaten, etched and intaglio patinated copper. Jenny Mulcahy, Fragments of Life series, Ceramic. Alan Valentine & Jo Lankester, Pothole Spotters, Etched alumimium plate, miniature figures & glue. Alison McDonald & Hannah Murray, Phykos Fish, 2012, Upcycled PET plastic and ink, cotton, acetate and etching ink. Margot Laver, Echoing, Copper, brass, raising, soldering, patina, inlay.

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Umbrella Studio contemporary arts | 482 Flinders Street, Townsville | (07) 4772 7109 www.umbrella.org.au | admin@umbrella.org.au | Open: Mon-Fri 9-5pm & Sun 9-1pm

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Expanded Field of Printmaking Catalogue