Tag Archives: artist as voyeur

Bath And Voyeurs

7 Jul

In between all the photopolymer [solar] plate etching over the last couple of weeks, I managed to proof three blocks I’d cut. They’re the first three of a series based on the concept of the artist as voyeur. I lean out of my second floor studio window and take surreptitious photos of people walking below, then I do drawings from them, transfer the drawings to signwriter’s foamboard and cut and incise the image. I’m very pleased with the results – I like the way each figure is restrained within the black square. There will eventually be nine in the series and I’ll probably do an edition of fifteen prints from each block. The foamboard isn’t as robust as wood or lino so the editions can’t be particularly large.

Tomorrow I’ll be finishing off some framing for the exhibition I’m having in Bath with a small group of artists. We’re calling ourselves and the exhibition Commensalis, so if you’re anywhere near Bath next week, please pop in and see us. The opening is on Monday evening and there will be cake! It’s in a spooky old mortuary chapel that’s been converted to a gallery in the ‘Artisan’ quarter of the city. There will also be performances of poetry, storytelling and Swedish Folk/Jazz throughout the week and fellow artist Melanie Ezra and I are ‘in conversation’ on the Friday evening. After all that, I’m going to have a few days off and wander around with my sketchbook, chilling out.

Man In A Black Square

31 May

Some time ago I took some digital photos from my second floor studio window, looking down on the people walking past below. I worked them up into drawings and I’ve been gradually cutting them into blocks for printing. I’m planning to do a series of nine block prints, all square and the same size, with the figure offset within the square. It sort of ties in with my feeling that artists are voyeurs, spying on the world to record what they see. Well, some of us are anyway. Once I’ve done all nine, I’ll exhibit them in a 3×3 square formation so that the black squares make the most impact and also to emphasise the isolation of each individual imprisoned in their own dark square.

I cut the image into a recycled piece of signwriter’s foamboard, I think the brand name in Britain is Floatex. I use it because it’s free and gives a very fine line that I can’t get with lino or wood. I used it extensively to teach block printing to people with drug problems; some have blood-borne viruses and the last thing you want is a cutting tool injury. The foamboard doesn’t have to be cut – it can be incised with a 4″ nail or even a biro.

I printed this today using Daler-Rowney block-printing medium and lamp black oil paint, using a Japanese baren to take the print without a press onto Fabriano Accademica 120gsm paper. I’m going to have to do more experimentation because I only had one good print out of 5. I might try it out with a Zercoll paper or adjust the ratio of paint to medium until I get it right. Ho hum, that’s my fate sealed for the bank holiday. [Holiday? Don’t make me laugh :)]

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