Saturday, 28 January 2012

Progress of a woodland print

I've had a small etching plate in reserve for the last few weeks, and each time I've been waiting for stop out to dry, or for a plate to bite I've been getting on with this plate.

It all started (as most of my work does at the moment) with a visit to Westonbirt and a bit of a sketch...

...and then a play with a marbelling effect in the print room...

...I painted the image with stop out...

...then added aquatint to give some depth and contrast...

...then brushed in some more stop out to take the starkness out of the background...

...and finally burnished the aquatint so that the cave like effect of the path through the trees was taken down a notch...

...and printed the final image in Sepia. No matter how mysterious or foreboding a dark path into woodland looks there is always a warmth in the trees themselves - the black was too stark.

When I'm working on big plates it can be hard to make small adjustments and see the benefit as quickly as this. These little plates allow a faster learning process and another layer of experimention.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Combining the senses Bergen

I have been very fortunate to have been sent photos of the 'Woodstock Walk' being exhibited in Bergen. The 'Bisensual' exhibition at ROM8 is unfortunately now over but all the work involved will be shown at UWE soon.

Thank you to the folks at ROM8 and at the Bergen National Academy of the Arts who made this show possible. Thank you also to the ongoing work within the ACiD postgraduate group which will continue this show in Bristol.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Drawing and etching, combining the senses

Last post I mentioned a drawing that would be shown with the haptic etchings. The drawing shown below is in fact about 9 feet long. It is a scene which has been constructed of a number of different photos stitched together to create this very long view, looking both upwards and downwards.

Drawing - 'Woodstock Walk'

The path leads up out of my village so I wanted to get a sense of looking upwards. I took photos on many occasions and sketched the shape of the ground a number of times so that back in the studio I could revisit the place in my mind and so create a strong sense of the place.

The drawing in the studio - to give a sense of scale
The visualisation, below, gives a sense of how the drawing and etchings will be shown together.

The idea is that the drawing will hang so that the disappearing point of the path will be more or less at eye height. If you were to stand quite close to the drawing your peripheral vision would only take in a reduced amount of detail, and so my drawing at the outer ends is looser and less ‘finished’.

The drawing provides sight; the visual information that we take in when looking at a scene, the scale gives a more complete experience of looking at a place.
The etchings will be hung to the side and provide the tactile experiences of being in the place. They are hung at places roughly corresponding to the height of the parts of the body. The two footsteps are towards the base of the wall, and 'the leaf falling against face etching', and the 'hair catching in a branch' is up nearer the head.
This work will be shown at UWE later in the year, I hope to have photos of it all in situ at that time, and I hope it will work as I have intended..

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Haptic Etchings

Over the last few weeks I have been finally putting together a large-ish project which is destined for a postgraduate exchange exhibition with the Bergen Art College (Kunsthogskolen i Bergen), Norway. The exhbibition has been co-ordinated by ACiD (Adavnced Centre in Drawing) at UWE. The theme for the exhibition has been 'Bi-Sensual'.

To fulfil the brief I have explored a number of haptic experiences when out on my walks, paying particular attention to one path. I was keen to draw an image of the common sensations that are linked to the fabric of that walk, not to the weather conditions. I recorded these sensations in my sketchbook and then translated them into etchings. A subtitle to these prints could be 'Things that happen to me on a walk'. The etchings have enabled me to further explore experimental mark making.

These etchings will be shown alongside a large scale drawing of the place. (I'll explain the drawing on the next post)

'leaf falls against face'

'hair catches in a branch'

'twig brushes against sleeve'

'foot turns over on a stone'

'step slips in mud'

I am hoping that the tactile appearance of an etching will help to underline the haptic nature of the prints.
My Bi-Sensual piece will therefore be an image of the place and the tactile sensations of being in the place.