“A book read by a thousand different people is a thousand different books.”
- Andrei Tarkovsky
This specially selected exhibition for West Yorkshire Print Workshop presents a collection of art works which explore the rich possibilities of print and image making.
Curated by Katherine Jones in partnership with WYPW, the show brings together four established artists, linked by their printmaking practice and their association with the Art Academy in South London. The artists have developed reputations in their field as award winning practitioners and teachers, exhibiting widely, nationally and internationally, with works in many private and public collections. Each art work in the show exists as a result of processes expertise and experimentation with techniques and materials; enquiry, research and intuition. There is a thread running through all the work in which the print becomes a trace of investigation, an accumulation of thinking, feeling and markmaking.
Victoria Browne’s topiary inspired motifs are ‘hand carved structural formations, emulating the pruning and shaping of our own personal constructs’ drawing on a consideration of man’s desire to control nature Her graphic prints, reveal themselves to be a complex construction of coloured shapes, carefully placed and layered. When viewed from afar, colours gently undulate but get up close and the ink pulsates.
Susan Corke’s images engage with technology and mechanical reproduction of a different kind of photography and etching. Among her interests are science and story telling. As such, her prints present a ‘real space’ captured, experienced in the real world. But these images have a haunting quality, transient, like characters in a play and incongruous within their surroundings. Corke uses photogravure, manipulating the plate during the etching process which results in an ethereal, ambiguous image.
Knowledge and experience inform Theodore Ereira Guyer’s prints in a different way. He draws on a wide range of sources to make work which poses questions about how we understand things we cannot experience, or share beliefs of what is possible to know or not know. Etchings and woodcuts, but also photography and sculpture, make up his practice. The prints might include portraits drawn from antiquity or resemble diagrammatic charts. Their presentation may be conventional (in a frame, on a wall) or unusual (sculptural, pinned or propped), and always resist a straightforward interpretation.
Katherine Jones makes richly textured, painterly prints combining collagraph, block print and etching. The relatively simple processes she employs (for example, cardboard stencils) belie the sophistication and emotional depth of the work. Recurring motifs, such as playground structures, greenhouses, trees and bath tubs, evoke ideas of shelter, safety, containment and protection. But they also carry with them feelings of vulnerability, anxiety, and undercurrents of disquiet. They inhabit the pictorial space (often a landscape) akin to a human presence, with the construction of lines, marks, tones acting as a descriptor of character as well as place. They become bodies imbued with traces of experience, transformed by a collaboration of imagination and memory.