Blog

Group Show: Off the Press

Group Show: Off the Press

This month I’ll be exhibiting new work alongside four talented Auckland based Printmakers: Prue MacDougall, Esther Hansen, Rachel Schanzer and Judy Gordon at Railway Street Studios in Newmarket. 

On display will be a range of experimental approaches to printmaking and is a great opportunity to show some work from my new series, “Minced Oaths”, inspired by my time in Florence, Italy where I studied traditional etching techniques. 

Made with Tetrapak cartons and other found objects on my daily walks, these etching were developed during the recent 2021 lockdown. A move towards a more sustainable practice in terms of materials, space, and time is reflected in the ideas addressed in each work about the alarming environmental challenges we face due to overconsumption and consumerism. 

The preserving jar is a recurring motif in my work which highlights practices of cultural continuity in the face of constant change and the necessity to adapt.  The compositions are influenced by the architecture and ominous, metaphysical landscapes of Italian artist Giorgio De Chirico.  

The show will run until 1 February, gallery hours 10 – 3 Tues – Sat. 

Hope to see you at the opening Tuesday 18 January, 5:30pm – 8pm.

I’ll also be giving a talk with Rachel Schanzer about our different approaches to printmaking on Saturday 22 January 11am at the gallery, which is a drop-in event. 

Awagami International Miniprint Exhibition Japan

Awagami International Miniprint Exhibition Japan

I’ve been wanting to participate in this for a few years now as I love printing on wash paper and when you register they send you a sample pack, which was very useful in learning more about the different types of washi. Printing a single woodblock by hand I found the Okawara Select and Inbe thin to give the best results in terms of surface texture.

This exhibition is also a truly global retrospective and embodies with truly international community of printmakers with over 1,800 prints from 58 countries. You can view a video of the exhibition on the Awagami Factory Facebook page

This woodblock was carved in March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic when I thought COVID-19 was just a storm in a teacup. Shortly after I had to flee from Florence back to Aotearoa, where I’m still weathering the storm!

Six Degrees of Separation

Six Degrees of Separation

I had the pleasure of being invited to show alongside a group of artists working in different media (including my sister and mentor Leela Bhai!). Curated by Tatiana Harper and Carlos Toalii, the idea behind the show was to celebrate the diversity and consecutiveness of Upstairs Gallery Titirangi, hence the title – 6 Degrees of Separation.

It was a great opportunity to exhibit two of my etchings created during my time at Il Bisonte in Florence and share the process visitors during an artist talk on the Saturday. These two etchings – Datura Moon and The Apothecary, are part of a larger body of work exploring the historical use and interpretation of plant species as they move between continents and ideologies.

Waterless Lithography Workshop

Waterless Lithography Workshop

I had the wonderful opportunity to spend the weekend with tutor Kathy Boyle alongside other talented printmakers to learn about this interesting alternative to traditional lithography. We experimented with a range of mark making using drawing materials from sharpie markers to crayola washable markers and create some wonderful organic “washy effects” using the toner from used print cartridges and Indian ink. This is also a wonderful way to incorporate photographic images into your work, which were first printed onto acetate using a printer before being transferred onto the plate. And it can be used like a gelliplate – pressing leaves and other textures onto the plate to make an impression. Once we had several plates, we could have fun experimenting with layering and using different colours.

What I really loved about this technique, was not only the endless possibilities, but also that it is something that can easily be done from home with minimal materials. Preparing and processing the plate was quick and simple, although if you’re impatient you’ll need to cure the plate in an oven and to transfer photographic images you need an iron (needs to be quite powerful, as we discovered the lower watt one was ineffective). When cleaning the plate you need acetone for some materials so will need a ventilated area, unless that smell doesn’t bother you!

Finalist!

Finalist!

Wow! What an honour to be selected as a finalist for the 15th Estuary Art and Ecology Award. I started this piece last year at the beginning of lock down in Florence. The story that the piece is inspired by resonated with my sense of isolation I felt there due to the global pandemic. I finished the work after the deadline and thought that would be the end of that……So happy to have her framed and admired on such a prestigious platform!