“Basement Membrane” by Tracy Hill
OK, so none of us are actually in the UK at this time, but we did get word of Tracy Hill’s new exhibition Maere Panels at Curve Gallery (Liverpool, UK) so we thought we’d share. You probably remember Tracy’s large-scale hanging prints from her exhibition with Martha Oatway last December (pictured, Left). As with the prints at WPG, the prints in Maere Panels build upon the use of the map, layering techniques and imagery that “responds directly to the nature of layering and of building surfaces which resonates with the years of history and palimpsest within our landscape.”
This exhibition is up for the Liverpool Biennial, October 20-27, with an Opening Reception that Friday night (the 19th), if you happen to be in the area. Further details at Curve Gallery’s link, above.
The following is part of a larger article introducing several international initiatives we are undertaking at WPG, which was introduced last week. You can view the full article, and the full newsletter, here.
"Moor Walk" by Tracey Hill, monotype, 4x22.5 in, 2010.
WPG’s Spring newsletter introduced “Field of Vision”, a year-long project by UK printmaker Tracy Hill and WPG member Martha Oatway. Since January, the artists have been creating prints based on landscapes surrounding Lancashire, England and Washington, DC. Martha has been working at ArtLab studios (University of Lancashire, UK) and Tracy Hill recently completed a residency at Pyramid Atlantic in Silver Spring, MD. It is a rare opportunity when two artists can work together on a project for an extended period of time, including artist residencies in each other’s country. WPG looks forward to exhibiting Tracy’s and Martha’s prints from this international collaboration in December 2011.
"Mapping the UK" by Martha Oatway
Comments from Martha Oatway: I’ve been in the UK for nearly 2 years now,
so my “US” eyes are not as US as they were when I first arrived. However, I still have a visceral response to the landscape conditioned by my early childhood in Maine, and I still find wonder in the UK landscape. Recently, Tracy Hill (senior printmaking technician at University of Central Lancashire) came to Pyramid Atlantic for a 9 day residency. This is part of an exchange between UCLan and Pyramid. I’ve been doing the Artists Access to Art Colleges (AA2A) at UCLan, and the university sent Tracy over for the residency at PA. I learned a most important thing while Tracy was in the DC area, walking with me for our December show at WPG. Now that I’ve been away from the US for a lengthy time, seen and experienced a different landscape, I see the US landscape through different eyes myself. Tracy and I talked as we walked here, and I found I was experiencing the US landscape in a new way when walking with her. Now I see things in the US landscape that I took for granted before. So, being away has made me look at the US landscape with awakened eyes and new awareness.
Comments from Tracey Hill: During my visit to Washington the thing that struck me most was the feeling of openness about the city. It was a real joy to discover the little treasures of parks and gardens which are hidden amongst the buildings and road systems. I love the juxtaposition of planned city with the natural systems of forest and river. They dominate and support the city by linking its people and their lives to each other and the past histories of the country. In contrast, the urban towns and cities of Lancashire were places of slow growth spreading out and carving their way into the landscape searching for space as the region was shaped by the industrial revolution. Lancashire takes its name from the city of Lancaster, which itself means ‘Roman fort on the River Lune’, combining the name of the river with the Old English cæster. The waterways and rivers, which were so significant to the lives of people living in this area as communities were formed, are still important today connecting and creating corridors of natural space.
This is hot off the press (pardon the pun)–not even officially on our website yet! WPG is finalizing details for our January Invitational Bewick’s Legacy: Six Contemporary British Wood Engravers. This exhibition is curated by wood engraver Simon Brett, who also has work in the exhibition. Read on to learn about Simon in his own words (an excerpt from the catalog text) and see an example of one of his beautiful prints that will be included in this show!
Marcus Aurelius III, Wood Engraving by Simon Brett, approx 6x3.5 in, 2002
I learned about wood engraving from Clifford Webb at London’s Saint Martin’s School of Art in the 1960s. I mainly studied painting, but, after early travel as a painter to New Mexico and Provence, engraving took over, beginning with bookplates and ephemera and graduating to book illustration for private and specialist presses. Work for the Folio Society includes Shakespeare, Keats and Shelley; Jane Eyre, Amelia, Clarissa and Middlemarch; Marcus Aurelius, Augustine, and the legends of the Grail and of the Ring. I started with religious books and have been called an heir to Gill and David Jones – hardly the case, but I do try to exercise a ‘religious sensibility’ in the sense of seeking the deepest echo in any text I am given to work on. Hilary Paynter asked me to be the second chairman (1986-92) of the revived Society of Wood Engravers. Curating shows and writing books has defined ‘the way I fit in’ to the wood engraving world ever since. The books include a world-wide survey, An Engraver’s Globe, and Wood Engraving: How To Do It, which will be republished shortly in its 3rd edition.
About the print above left: The variations on Marcus Aurelius are based on photographs of surviving sculptures. They are from a set of thirteen done as illustrations to a Folio Society edition.
This exhibition will run January 4-30. Please check back here or our upcoming exhibitions page for more information coming shortly!
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.
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.