I’m currently showing some of my leaf prints in a lovely exhibition called Inky Fingers at The Lowry Hotel. Produced by Comme Ca Art and curated by Andrew Magee, the exhibition showcases the work of six printmakers from Hot Bed Press including myself and Andrew, Jez Dolan, Samuel Horsley, Gwilym Hughes and Robert Helnow.
The exhibition runs until 17th November so two more weeks to go and have a look!
Last weekend we had a lovely arts event at Dove Stone Reservoir, organised in collaboration with the RSPB. Alongside specially composed music (played by Saddleworth School Brass Band and Greenfield Brass Band), there were lots of things going on, including dance, visual arts, poetry, wildflower planting and leaf printing.
Richard Dawson created some gallery style plinths that showcased artworks responding to the amazing landscape and environment at Dove Stone Reservoir. These included a piece of gritstone, some water, a section of peat, acorns, a bumble bee and some honey bees.
He also installed some tree drawing machines, whereby drawings are created by the movement of the tree’s branches in the wind.
(For more of Richard’s work, have a look here)
Alongside facilitating a drop-in leaf printing workshop, I created some large-scale withy honey bees which were displayed in the wildflower meadow overlooking the reservoir.
I’ve just started a year long printmaking course called The Complete Printmaker at Hot Bed Press in Salford. Over the duration of thirty weeks we’ll be covering lots of different printmaking techniques and I’m hoping to learn lots about how to get better results and how to ink up plates properly!
Here’s my trace monoprint (or monotype) from week one. It’s from a collection of drawings I’ve just started of all the cameras I’ve ever owned. Below is the original drawing I made the monoprint from. Next week – Drypoint.
We did our first creative workshops to generate ideas and work for the Hyde Park Community Orchard artwork this week. Our first victims were 30 Year Ones from Godley Primary School, who enjoyed working out the seating arrangements for the outdoor classroom before playing a game of Fruit Salad in the Orchard. We then took the group inside Bayley Hall and used The Park Cafe for lots of art activities including mono printing, still life fruit drawing and making bird mosaics out of fruit.
In the afternoon a smaller group from Hyde Technology School attended to do some similar sessions, using local birds including Jays, Blackbirds, Blue Tits, Great Tits and Wood Pigeons as inspiration for their artwork. Both groups created lots of brilliant work, some of which you can see below.
I’m doing a workshop on Sunday 30th October in partnership with Richard Dawson and the RSPB at Dovestone Reservoir in the Peak District.
The RSPB currently provide regular guided walks around the area of Dovestone though this one is a bit different in that it’s an ‘Art Walk’ and has more of a creative theme than previous walks. Participants will be collecting their own leaves from the woods around Dovestone, which they’ll then use to create beautiful monoprints to take home with them.
This leaf printing process is something I already use in my own practice (see my website www.jacquisymons.co.uk for more info) and not only is it an easy and interesting way to create some lovely artwork but you also learn a lot more about tree types and how to identify them.
Hopefully the workshop on Sunday will also get participants to look at and use the landscape in a different way and also to have a go at an art process they might not have tried. I’m seeing this as the start of many ‘Art Walks’ around Dovestone – there’s lots of possibilities!
The image below is one of mine – printed with leaves from a little oak tree at Dovestone.
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'Being a Freelance Artist' is me, Jacqui Symons; a Manchester-based artist and designer, who creates public and community art alongside her own work and practice.
Being A Freelance Artist aims to give readers an insight into me and my work whilst at the same time providing advice and support about becoming and surviving as a freelance artist.
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