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!