Friday, 26 April 2013

Thatcher, Multi-colour woodcut and Monoprint workshop

Paired with another student at a different art school, we were asked to exchange instructions for making artwork. The resulting work was brought together at a symposium at Tate Modern. The external involvement somehow liberated me to make something which was much more personal and political than I normally allow myself. Usually my work is measured and controlled and reflects the external world rather than my emotions or rage. I made this:
The painting is criss-crossed with neat script in my own hand recalling my experience of life under Thatcher. Being on the housing waiting list for over six years. living in a one-bedroomed flat with a toddler because a million council houses had been sold off and not replaced; Section 28, the Poll Tax, 12% unemployment, militarised police force cavalry-charging desperate man fighting for their livelihoods and communities...all the usual stuff we like to drag up.

Work is progressing on a large woodcut, involving some text and a three-colour reductive printing process.
The letters, carved backward spell out:


Seven bird names, each with seven letters, each seen regularly on Winall Mooors. Slow work, carving and being mindful of the direction of the grain, slipping, compensating, pushing and yet keeping control of the blade. Cutting
curves from the right direction, numbering the contours of the pattern to remember which colour will go printed where.
'Is it Welsh? Elvish?'
The first colour printed up well, after many test prints and adjustments of the pressure on the press. 
The first colour printed up well - but need to choose which colours to choose for the second and third layers.
Delivering Monoprint workshop with friends at Chapel Arts Studios, Andover.

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