LIMERICK PRINTMAKERS INTERNATIONAL RESIDENCY APPLICATION
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I discovered printmaking on a study abroad year in the US where I studied it intensively. It was the best and most productive year I have had so far. I was able to concentrate completely on learning, making work and speaking to other artists. I won the student Juried Prize, which is an anual competition for the best print at the student show. I took part in several exhibitions. I also collaborated with other printmakers; we would share drawings on one copper plate. I found the friends and connections I made in America to be the most rewarding part of my time there. I also learned a lot about etching techniques from the head of the department, a very experienced etcher and engraver, Dellas Henke who is also my reference.
When I returned to my animation degree in London I continued to use printmaking and combined it with animation. I graduated with a 1st and a Commendation for Expanded Animation Practise: Printmaking.
After graduating I was a runner-up for the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers Graduate Prize and then won the Assembly House Art Prize. For the prize I was commissioned to make 12 prints about Norfolk for an exhibition and a print fair. I loved the project and completing research around Norfolk for my etchings for three months. During which I also volunteered as technician and tutor in copper etching at Print to the People (a print studio in Norwich.) Here I gained experience in a new studio and had access to printmaking equipment including an etching press. I helped with open access and tours of the studio. I was working there for a year and return every time I’m in Norfolk.
I recently completed an internship at Edinburgh Printmakers where I worked for three months. The building is now closed to reopen in a larger premises. I will return to make work there from April 2019. I learned many more aspects of printmaking at Edinburgh Printmakers and gained more experience with copper etching especially with aquatint, soft-ground and photo-etch techniques. I was able to take every class they were running to be able to increase my confidence in other print techniques such as screen printing and learn new techniques such as Toyobo and Stone Lithography.
In May I have a two week residency at Dumfries House where I hope to make some drawings for an etching or photo-litho.
1. Norwich Map, copper etching, 60cm x 40cm
2. Sea Palling, copper etching with chin collé, 10cm x 20cm
3. Puddle Weaving, copper etching, 20cm x 30cm
4. Michigan, copper etching with chin collé, 25cm x 40cm
5. Utopia I, copper etching, 50cm x 70cm
6. Bacton Wood, copper etching, 20cm x 25cm
D. Statement of Intent
‘Landmarks’ by Robert Macfarlane gathers words that describe place; words that help connect us to the natural world we live in; words that could be lost to us. Moreover, the loss of these words could lead to the loss of our connection to nature and subsequently the loss of the nature itself.
“It matters because language deficit leads to attention deficit. As we deplete our ability to denote and figure particular aspects of our places, so our competence for understanding and imagining possible relationships with non-human nature is correspondingly depleted.” – Robert Macfarlane
In the same way Robert Macfarlane hopes to return these words into circulation, to “rewild” our language, I hope drawing endangered nature words can help to reintroduce them to the common knowledge. Can we help defend the wild places in the UK by expressing our love for them?
“People exploit what they have merely concluded to be of value, but they defend what they love, and to defend what we love we need a particularising language, for we love what we particularly know.” - Wendell Berry.
I propose to create a series of prints in response to Robert Macfarlane’s word-hoard. I plan to work with copper etching during the residency. I have made a small etching titled ‘leaf-whelmed’, in response to my recollection of the phrase having read ‘Landmarks’. I noticed that as I experienced the words and phrases from the book for real they became a part of my vocabulary. Seeing features described in the book meant I could recall the words and use them. I hope that by drawing the words or phrases I might be able to make them more memorable to people who haven’t read the book or who live far from nature.
I will carry out research in Norfolk and Scotland in early 2019. I hope to also visit parts of Ireland prior to the residency to collect imagery and ideas to illustrate Macfarlane’s dictionary. I am not sure which words I will come across in my travels but I can explore to see what I find. Nature is a theme in my work that I keep returning to, I think it is a very important part of my life and practise.
I intend to create an edition of two or three copper etchings responding to Macfarlane’s book.