How does your work address the theme ‘To the Edges’?
For myself, this has been a very apposite theme for a number of reasons. The initial reason being direct experience of the bush fires in 2019/2020. I live on a hundred acres in remote NSW South Coast and watched the sky turn a livid brown and the sun turn an angry orange as the flames from the Currowan Fires crept closer, until we were surrounded and parts of our land a-flame. Myself, husband, dog, were literally ‘on edge’ for days and nights with fire hoses out, water pumps on and waking every couple of hours through the night to check that fallen and smoking trees had not re-ignited and started a fresh fire. So the first piece in the trio deals with this aspect of the theme.
The second piece ‘Chaos’ suggests that humanity’s greed, carelessness and poor behaviour has lead to chaos and disaster – a theme influenced by Mario Vargas Llosa’s book ‘The Storyteller’ – and here we see flood, fire, calamity inflicted on the world. Finally, man’s poor environmental record has brought man and planet to the edge of extinction – sea levels have risen and imagined, monstrous sea creatures dominate …
Can you describe the technical process you went through to achieve the finished work and what technical challenges you encountered along the way?
Technically, the pieces were reasonably straight-forward, any difficulties tended to be in cutting the detail and ensuring clarity. Perhaps my choice of fibrous Japanese Unryu paper – chosen because I felt the woody fibres would enhance the message of the pieces – did make it harder to get solid blacks where I really needed them and as a result I did end up printing them all by hand.
What do you see as the role of Sydney Printmakers for the next 60 years?
Like other successful printmaking groups, we can show the great expressive possibilities of our craft, the wonderful images that can be achieved using only print techniques; that printmaking skills are great tools for everyone to use either alone or in combination with other media.
How do you see the role of printmaking in general, contributing to the conversation about contemporary art practice.
Printmaking utilises numerous flexible and dynamic tools and can probably lead or assist art practice to move in a multitude of directions.