Postcards from the UK II

Below is the 2nd installment of art news from WPG President Martha Oatway, currently splitting her time between the States and the UK.

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston participates in a national plan called Artists Access to Art Schools (AA2A) which allows an artist access to studio space for a year and a stipend for materials.  During the past year I’ve had the pleasure of working beside three of the four AA2A printmakers in the printmaking studio.  In September they had a joint show in the Victoria Building gallery, the culmination of their years work. 

Table print by David Henckel

One day during the semester I walked into the classroom and found a desk top inked like a relief plate.  David Henckel noticed something everyone else saw but really didn’t notice:  the scratches and dings in the surface of the desk made by 20+ years of students.  He inked it and printed it.  His print of the gum deposits in front of Victoria Building takes a similar tack.

David Henckel in his own words:

David Henckel

The chewing gum piece and the table print are concerned with the patterns and marks that develop as a result of unconsciously collaborative activity. Both pieces highlight and draw attention to something that is already there. The table print is a direct relief print taken after inking up the table with a litho roller and shows in greater contrast the intricate cuts and scratches that have built up over time from its use as a paper trimming area. It reveals a pattern of activity loosely focused along one edge from when the table was pushed up against the wall.
I like the ambiguity of the finished print and the semi focused randomness of the marks.

Chewing gum deposits painted bright pink by David

I noticed the chewing gum deposits throughout Preston and felt they were similar in nature
to the marks on the table. Diffusion patterns with concentrations of deposits at the entrance way
to buildings or around the trash bins. The 2 screenprints that I made use photographs as a starting point which I’ve then manipulated to leave only a hint of the architecture and the space. The chewing gum which merges with the pavement has been coloured in on another layer and in the prints stands out in stark contrast to the background.

After making the prints I decided I really wanted to paint the actual chewing gum deposits and after a little bit of negotiation and a few blind eyes being turned set about the entrance way to the gallery. Thankfully a good friend volunteered to help me and we painted all the gum in the vicinity a nice bubblegum pink.
Whilst painting the gum, no one tried to stop me and we got a few odd questions including
“What are those pink blobs meant to be?” and “Is that meant to be chewing gum?”

What I originally thought might be far too obvious turned out to be a lot more subtle and with the
onset of Autumn??? already the pink blobs seemed to fit with the leaves.

I’m thinking about a chewing gum film of Preston and the possibility of a musical piece based on the distribution of gum being notes in a sequence.


One response to “Postcards from the UK II

  1. Pingback: Postcards from the UK III | DCimPRINT