Continuing with our series of interviews with artists exhibiting in Sydney Printmakers ‘To the Edges’ at Manly Art Gallery and Museum, we now talk to Rafael Butron.
How does your work address the theme ‘To the Edges’?
Recent unparalleled events Have caused many to live on the edge. The pandemic virus, caused by transmission from one person to another forced many of us into isolation quite rapidly, and for most people came fear and loneliness. Humans caused these events to unfold. The world’s temperature rises and our environment has been thrown. ‘Phases of Isolation‘ is a self portrait that explores three stages of separation, frustration, anxiety and depression. As we value our lives so should we also value the world we live in, by having compassion for one another and a duty of care for our world.
Can you describe the technical process you went through to achieve the finished work and what technical challenges you encountered along the way?
I usually engrave from a drawing on the plate itself using copperplate with a marker pen, then slowly engrave using an engraving tool called a Burin. The technical challenge is to remove all your training, which tends to make the print perfectly executed and use the innate artistic energy to achieve an image, much like action painting. My intention is to incorporate traditional printmaking techniques to create a unique work that has its own spirit.
What do you see as the role of Sydney Printmakers for the next 60 years?
Sydney Printmakers have and always will push printmaking to its limits and with every new member there is an opportunity to develop new engaging works that add to the diversity of the group and ensure its longevity for years to come.
How do you see the role of printmaking, in general, contributing to the conversation about contemporary art practice?
Printmaking has a role to play in contemporary art making as every printmaker has a unique approach to the creation of an image and the variety of mediums allows for an individual interpretation of the subject.