Tag Archive | Printmaking

AA2A Residency – University of Central Lancashire

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Since October last year, I have been artist-in-residence at University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston.  I’ve been working on a specific project to create a piece called The Absence of Nature, which (I think) will be a series of chairs highlighting the increased extinction rates of beetles due to climate change and loss of habitat.

I knew that I wanted to use metallic and iridescent inks to screenprint fabric for the chairs so have spent a large amount of my time at UCLan experimenting with different inks, finishes, fabrics and pigments to get what I wanted.  I’ve finally started to achieve something with Golden’s interference colours (thankyou Golden!) but it took a lot of research and experimentation.

I have also spent some time at Manchester Museum‘s entomology department, drawing from the thousands of specimens they have.  I plan to go back and do some more research – Dmitri and his colleagues  at the museum couldn’t be more helpful and to draw from real specimens is invaluable.

As part of the residency I’ve been experimenting with textures and fills, using trugrain and various media to achieve what I wanted, playing around with levels and exposure in Photoshop and when exposing the screens.

I’m finally starting to see the results I want – just need to create the final designs for the fabric using the many beetles I have been sat drawing since the residency started…

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It’s all Bentley’s fault…

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Following last year’s project for Bentley Library where I worked with local groups to create a community library chair, I’ve been itching to have a go at making/upholstering another one. So, for a recent exhibition at Hot Bed Press, I decided to create some screenprinted textiles for a new piece of work in the shape of a Parker Knoll armchair.

‘Infestation’ is upholstered in silk, hand screenprinted with hundreds of beetles which appear to be crawling out of the chair.  Each piece of material features an individual design created from my drawings of beetles.  There are about 100 different species of beetle in the surface design from the Javan Fiddle Beetle (Mormolyce phyllodes) to, my favourite, the Long-Necked Shining Fungus Beetle (Datelium wallacei) – you can’t beat that for a name.  The chair also has it’s very own beetle legs, brilliantly made by Arbarus.

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The work is part of an ongoing series in which I’ll be exploring chairs and similar products, questioning their form and usability (does a chair have to be functional to be a chair?) and reimagining the original design and finish to manipulate reaction and perception.

To create this installation piece I firstly used Photoshop to generate full-size artwork from scans of my beetle drawings, which I then turned into screenprints.  I created individual screens for both the fill colour and the key layer (the final line).  I’d pre-cut and labelled the individual pieces of silk for the upholstery so I could control which part of the pattern was on each part of the chair.  Once the fabric was printed, I set about upholstering!

Leaf Prints at The Lowry Hotel

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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!

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Silver-Birch Hazel

 

RSPB Ribble Rediscovered Workshops

RSPB Ribble Workshops 04Over the last couple of weeks, myself and Richard Dawson (Arbarus) have been working on a series of creative workshops for our RSPB Ribble Rediscovered commission. Aimed at determining what wildlife and subjects should be included within the final pieces of sculpture, we worked with young people, the public and the brilliant RSPB volunteers making lots of brilliant artwork and chatting about the interesting wildlife that can be found on the Ribble Estuary, what the important and notable species are for the area and what lives in all that mud!

We did a special mud-dip workshop whereby we looked at the species that live in the mud and provide food for the thousands of birds that visit and live in the area. From this we created block prints of the hydrobia snails, crabs, rag worms and also the birds that eat them, making a brilliant frieze of artwork on brown paper.

We also rocked up to the 20 year anniversary event of the Ribble Discovery Centre and chatted to lots of knowledgeable people about the birds and wildlife found on the estuary. The three others artists involved in the commission were also there – Bryony Purvis, Rebecca Chesney and Sophy King.

Next job – design the final artwork ready for approval by the RSPB, the volunteers and steering group and Fylde Council…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hot Bed Press ’20’ Exhibition

SP-city-towerI’ve been lucky enough to be selected for the Hot Bed Press 20 Year anniversary exhibition.  Held at Warrington Museum and Art Gallery, the exhibition features 20 artists selected from the printmaking studio’s members and runs from now until 16th September 2014.

Four of my screenprints were chosen to be part of the exhibition, including one that I’ve just completed.  In the same style as my previous urban sketch screenprints but much larger, it shows the view from the top of Shudehill Car Park (see my earlier rant about views from car parks here).  As I use paper stencils to get the background colours, printing this caused all sorts of problems due to the stencil warping and stretching over such a large area.  However, I didn’t want to use photo screens for all parts of the artwork as it creates a final image that’s too perfect for me.

I was really pleased with the final piece especially once framed by the lovely and helpful ‘In the Picture Framing‘, who have just opened up in Woodend Mill in Mossley, where I have my studio.

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Artists’ Proof Exhibition

screenprint jacqui symonsMy new series of screenprints are being exhibited at Bank Quay House in Warrington.  Part of a group show, the Complete Printmakers from Hot Bed Press will be exhibiting alongside the Wrexham Regional Print Centre.

The exhibition runs from 4th April – 26th May 2014 at Bank Quay House, Sankey Street, Warrington, WA1 1NN.  Go to their website for opening times and further details.

Manchester City Centre Screenprint

These photos show the different stages of creating this six colour screen print.  All the layers except for the last one are paper stencils handcut by me.  The greys only have a touch of burnt sienna and/or yellow ochre in to make them warm greys rather than a bluey, cold grey.

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