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Now The Printmakers

23 Aug
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From left to right: Andrew Baldwin, Rose Davies, John Abell

 

Opening Friday 21st September from 17.30 to 20.00 and continuing 10.30 – 4.30 September 22nd to 29th EXCEPT Monday 24th.

Swansea Print Workshop, a hidden gem, is exhibiting original prints as part of “Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero“, inspired by World War 1 artists Frank Brangwyn and Käthe Kollwitz with work by artist members alongside three featured Welsh printmakers:

John Abell (Cardiff), woodcuts from “The Diary of a Dead Officer” published by Old Stile Press

Andrew Baldwin (Trefeglwys, Powys), etchings and mezzotints inspired by the World War 1 battlefield

And me! Rose Davies / Rosie Scribblah (Swansea), monotypes and etchings from “The Warrior”, a series from my 10 year working relationship with Captain David Williams, a serving soldier and life model, who also features in Nawr yr Arwr.

 

Here’s a short video of me and my model working on a new monotype for “Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero”

 

Frank Brangwyn and Käthe Kollwitz were accomplished multidisciplinary artists, both lived and worked through World War 1, and both excelled in the medium of printmaking. Drawing inspiration from the wealth of print media in which they worked, including etching, woodcut and lithography, Swansea Print Workshop’s exhibition will respond to the rich visual wealth of the sumptuous Brangwyn panels and the recent Glynn Vivian Art Gallery exhibition of Käthe Kollwitz prints.

 

Breaking Out Of The Frame @ The Workers Gallery

15 Mar

See my print installations and more artwork by me and the gallery artists throughout March and April at The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir in The Rhondda Valley. It’s a great place to visit.

I’ve been a printmaker for a long while, I majored in Printmaking in Art College back at the end of the 1970s and my lecturer, Andy Charlton a fantastic artist, was proper old school. Nothing wrong with that, but in recent years I’ve become disillusioned with the conventional way of exhibiting prints, in a frame on a pristine wall in a gleaming white gallery.

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I’ve always preferred art to be inclusive, rather than exclusive and so many galleries actively promote exclusivity, which puts a lot of people off even entering. And when someone does step over the doorstep, it’s very easy to walk by the rows of neatly framed artwork arranged on the pristine walls without stopping for a closer look or understanding the processes that have gone into the piece.

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I’ve been trying to break out of the frame and display my printmaking in a way that develops a more interactive relationship with the viewer and also to move it into a viewing place that is more accessible than a conventional gallery. I’ve been experimenting with assembling multiple prints, starting with a work based on the cyanotype technique, a pattern for a Victorian corset and a series of sketchbook drawings of elder women.

I have exhibited them in sequence, hanging on a wall, and I also took it all apart and tied it to a clothes horse as you can see above.  I really liked the clothes airer scenario so I decided to do another.

frida paper

A while back, I had a small rubber stamp  made up from a silkscreen print I did based on the fabulous Frida Kahlo, an artist I admire very much. I printed it onto small leftover pieces of a beautiful Japanese Shiohara paper that I had been using for another print job .

I had been wondering what to do with them and I finally decided on making them up into a self-contained installation. I made a start by sewing them onto a very robust handmade paper – 300gsm – that I’d bought at the Tate Gallery a few years ago on an antique Singer sewing machine.

And then I assembled them onto a clothes airer. People seem more willing to walk around something three-dimensional and they look at the work far more than when it’s in frames on a wall.

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So far these works have been exhibited in an arts café, a conventional gallery, a pop-up artspace in a socially deprived area, and a shop window and will soon be going to The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir in the Rhondda Valley, a much-loved community-oriented artspace in what was, until the austerity cutbacks, the local library. The challenge now is to continue to break out of the frame and to find even more socially relevant places and ways to show my work.

World of Work Workers Gallery Poster

Stitching And Tying

6 Jan

I’m working flat out to finish this print installation made up of almost 50 small prints on Shiohara paper sewn onto handmade Tate Gallery Indian paper. I’m assembling them onto a wooden clothes horse. I had originally intended to put them on with wooden pegs but the bars are too thick for pegs so I’m stitching ribbon onto the prints and then tying them on. I’m getting there ….. maybe another couple of hours of sewing to go.

nearly there

I’ve been using a gorgeous antique Singer sewing machine, Edwardian and over 110 years old, and here’s a short video of it in action. I love old machines – I get mechanics, so easy to fix, just a screwdriver and maybe a pair of pliers. This installation will be exhibited soon at the Penarth Pier Pavilion Gallery as part of a joint exhibition between Swansea and Cardiff Print Workshops. Please click here for more details.

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