Open House Printmakers: New Work

We set up our new exhibition at the Oxford Gallery, on the 6th October. As you can see we have very different approaches to printmaking.

OPEN HOUSE PRINTMAKERS : NEW WORK

Kathy Anderson, Jo Ernsten, Casey Macaulay, Ruth Stanton-Mcleod, Kris Waldin, Tessa Warburton & Celia Wilson

7-24 October 2021

Kathy Anderson

Casey Macaulay

Ruth Stanton McLeod

Kris Waldin

Tessa Warburton

Jo Ernsten

Here is my submission.

For this set of hand coloured prints I concentrated on the flora and fauna of the River Eyre/Waiaraki to show the displacement of bird life by introduced by exotic plant life.  The plants take on an imaginary shape, though based on actual plants.  These prints were influenced by medieval illustrations;  I felt our present day understanding of nature is in some respect no different to their ideas of what exotic animals might look like.  My work always comes out ‘pretty’ no matter how hard I try to make it the opposite! I really enjoyed painting these prints.

Ed 2/5 EV “Herbarium Exotica V” Celia Wilson

A Wrybill is the bird shown in this print.

Open House at Arts in Oxford

Open House is a great experience. We are in the final few weeks of the artist in residence project (on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays) . We think we have spoken to the public for about 60% of the time we have been in the gallery working. Its has been very satisfying to talk to visitors and to realise how many people out there are actually very curious about how printmakers make images, how we research and experiment. We have all enjoyed being artists together, a great opportunity to exchange ideas and learn in good company. Just such a great idea; we have been very honoured be invited and very pleased to take part.

Fellow invited artists with Jo Ernsten are Kathy Anderson, Casey Macaulay, Ruth Stanton McLeod, Kris Waldin, Tessa Warburton. Last weekend visitors were offered the opportunity to print and take home a calico carry bag. We have made some more which are now on sale in the gallery.

Here are some photos I have taken of some work made to date. First up is an image of my table and some old and new work on the wall.

I have been using rock pigments from the Eyre/Waiaraki River that runs by Oxford. Water only runs through the braided river bed after rain, and the close-by headwaters are in and around the Mt Oxford hills. Weeds can grow and make the shingle beds unsuitable for nesting birds, but there is still lots to see at any time of the year. We have collected some of the weeds to make paper at the Gallery, and I am using some of this paper in my Open House art. I’ve been making *muller imprints with the paint I’ve made – browns, reds and greys. I have included paint made from green Waimakariri River rock as well – that river is not far from Oxford, and the Eyre/Waiaraki River eventually joins the Waimakariri closer to the coast. The Eyre/Waiaraki River used to end in swampy ground situated to the north of the point where it is now diverted into the Waimakariri.

From various maps I have drawn a section of the braided river in Oxford, made dry-point prints of the river bed structure (always moving!) and a selection of introduced weeds as well as New Zealand native plants that are found around and in the river bed.

*Muller imprints are made with the tool that is used to grind the pigment powder into the binder. The suction created by lifting the muller off the paint creates the patterns on the muller base that I then imprint on to paper. I have made two layered concertina booklets using the pigments and the braided river as inspiration. Not finished yet! A couple of other books using print and paint are also in progress.

More to come later.

Wrybills

Been a while since I have posted, but I have been otherwise occupied with the gallery at Arts in Oxford.

No painting, no prints, no solar dyes.   Well, actually, I have done some on the odd occasion, and I had to do some mono prints for the exhibition “From the Rivers to the Shore” which was on at the gallery from 10 June for five weeks.  The show is now on at The Depot Artspace in Devonport, Auckland.  From there it will go up to the Hokianga, at Rawene,  in No 1 Parnell Gallery.

I was delighted to sell the work I exhibited in Oxford North Canterbury, which is this one below.  Wyrbills are the only bird on the planet with a bill that bends to the right – it is endangered due to habitat loss on the braided rivers of the South Island of New Zealand, where this species breeds, and on the distant shores it visits during its annual migration to overwinter in warmer climes.  It is also endangered due to predators and weed invasion of the bare rock covered areas of the braided rivers where the eggs are laid amongst the rocks.  In conjunction with Braided River Aid, the gallery hosted a panel discussion with two Canterbury University academics from the Biological Sciences department who are researching nearly everything you can think of to help these and other endangered birds.

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The rocks are coloured with pigments from the river rocks.  You can see the curve of the bill in this sketch below!

 

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‘Accumulative’ exhibition Print

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Waimakariri Near and Far, mono print on paper.  Detail of one of my Accumulative exhibition prints with Waimakariri and Waikari rock paints.

Carbon Footprint

 

Handprint1

We’re all in the joke mood at the moment, that is if you are doing an assignment for Art of the MOOC.  It has been a real battle for me to think of a joke related to a social issue or a social movement.  My attempts just sounded so silly, but after going on line to find some, I thought mine were not that bad after all…

So how about:

When is a thinking person’s coal mine empty?  When it’s mindful.

When can coal see?  When it’s fossilised.

Then I thought, if I am making paint from coal (which was my intention), to sequester it, for example, I need a link to paint and pigment.  Luckily, my brain caught on, and I came up with using charcoal (which is also carbon).  Now, as there is a good possibility that prehistoric man also used charcoal to paint or draw with, aka cave paintings, I could somehow make  a joke that linked carbon, pigment and paint.  I do have some coal left over from when we had a coal fire (oops, but we only used it once and we had to travel 100 k to buy the coal)…  but the charcoal came from the woodturning stove and the tree came from the garden and it did seem a little more environmentally appropriate.

So my joke for Art of the MOOC was:  Was there a prehistoric carbon footprint?  No, they used their hands…

I made a video of the paint making process which can be found on my Facebook page.  www.facebook.com/celia.wilson.56   It is also on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/147520835, and I have a link to Twitter…

 

 

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Hot Off the Press

Tomorrow's Beginning

Tomorrow’s Beginning

Bro

Boro

Image in Search of a Title

An Image in Search of a Title

Hot Off the Press;  four printmakers showing at Arts in Oxford Gallery, Oxford, North Canterbury

This selection of monoprints is my first venture into exhibiting prints.  I hope I’m keeping true to my art practice of using process and chance to make the image.  I like to use recycled items, such as scraps of paper, cloth and plastic to print with. The scraps are either used as found or cut into shapes or patterns.

Through an interest in Japanese prints and making textile works I discovered the term ‘boro’. Boro is a Japanese word that translates as ‘rags or scraps of cloth, and the term boro is also used to describe clothes and household items which have been patched-up and repaired many times’[i]. The textiles could be passed down the generations and so also become holders of memory, in much same way as in old patchwork quilts.

In this set of prints I have interpreted this textile construction method by reusing the plastic, paper and cloth as the printing ‘plates’, integrating the shapes one on another to create an image that formed itself piece by piece. Would this go here? – What colour contrast will I do next? – the image in effect prompting a response from me.  Memories (for me) are contained in many of the ‘scraps’ used.

The base of all the works is a found shape that reminded me of a kimono, and from this emerged the idea of boro as a process to create these images.

[i] https://furugistarjapan.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/boro-japanese-folk-fabric/

 

Object or Thing

Cannot add more to this piece of work.  It sat there for a while, rolled up in the old bible box that my Grandmother used as a hat box (she had wonderful hats).  Then the other night I finished off the bottom right hand corner.  A little piece of family genealogy there, to me anyway…

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Lying flat on the table, it is a thing.  Nothing wrong with being ‘a thing’ – it seems things in our lives are interconnected with our brains and consciousness and make us what we are, allowing us to make new connections.  Is it more interesting as a thing or an object now that I have fastened to the wall?  Does it take on a new identity?  Or has it lost its becoming and is now static – I won’t say dead.   Its new persona invites new becomings, however.

 

 

Object

 

 

hatbox

 

Lovely design on the ‘hat box’.

Explore Find Collect Discover

Progressing with my little piece of fanciful endeavour. The weather is too hot to do much but I am enjoying this evening pastime.  Trying to contextualise this piece, I found it lends itself to ‘something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue’.  The ‘borrowing’ comes from Spirit Cloth, so thanks to Jude for her inspiration and putting me on yet another path.

It is quite difficult to find suitable, old, worn cloth, but I realise I have to collect all my textiles and yarns in one spot – I seem to be endlessly looking for where I have stashed them – and since we moved they could be anywhere!  I am using fabric dyed last year, snippets of my mother’s dressmaking, her box of embroidery threads, my threads from those I collected decades ago and even some old silk velvet from my sister’s mother in law.  The cloth (dyed in tea) with the holes was an old pillowcase into which we used to put horse riding gear when it was being machine washed.  The ‘something new’ is the print of the mallow plant growing in the new garden.

I really like the feel of the layers of cloth and the abstract forms created by the stitching on the reverse of the piece.  The space created by the circle (top left) seems to suggest landscape, or a vista.  It is the only part that has visual depth.  What to do next…

Piece

Spring leaves, nature prints and patchwork

On a walk yesterday I found a windblown leaf, and later picked some leaves and flowers from the garden.  I am not sure at all what species of tree the leaf is from.  It is difficult to define, mainly because it is immature.  However, I think it may be a Platanus  (plane, sycamore) as suggested by the stem and leaf vein structure.  To memorialise this arrested development I made prints from the leaves.

Leaf1

Leaf2  

I made a few nature prints, on paper and cloth.  The first print is from the inked plate (with the leaf removed after passing the two through the press).  I dropped the inked plate on the floor which accounts for the wiggly marks and scratches.  Liked the effect!

Leaf5  

This print below, taken directly off the leaf alone, is particularly interesting, delicate.  

Leaf4  

This print is made on damp 300 gsm paper   Leaf3  

Here is a small selection of the process – when the leaf was thick it caused creases in the paper and some areas did not print so well.  

Leaf7  

I have been busy…  Here I have printed on cloth; works very well.  The impression on the right was hand done with the roller and not put through the press, unlike the other one on the left.  I am getting confident with using the etching press.  

Leaf8  

Finally, the most beautiful object of all, the actual leaves, with a trace of the ink still on them. It shows the underside of the leaves.  I used Akua black ink, and many of the prints were printed on dry digital/inkjet A4 paper.  

Leaf9  

To end, here is a textile work I have started in response to following Spirit Cloth. I have printed on to cloth a mallow leaf and an image off a piece of old wallpaper.

Leaf6