THE SUN RISES IN THE EAST
Our new exhibition in Walthamstow, 'Fractions / adventures in printmaking', is a pretty special one… Not only is it part of this year's E17 Art Trail programme, it also presents a collection of new limited edition prints by artists on the Look Up roster.
The theme for this year's Art Trail is STEAM – science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics: a perfect starting point for a gallery celebrating the creative potential of geometry… Count us in! First, we found a willing venue – our lovely friends at Buhler and Co. Next, we devised a theme, Fractions/ adventures in printmaking, inviting each of our artists to use it as inspiration to create a new edition. Here we are, a few short months later,and the E17 Art Trail has sparked into life. Our exhibition is open, and it's full of colourful new editions – all of which are now available to buy from the Look Up website. So what kind of prints are we talking about exactly? Here's a summary...
'A Fraction' by Kate Banazi
Kate Banazi is a bit of a rising star on the international art scene, so we were delighted when she found time to make something new for Fractions. Kate responded to our brief with a typically inventive approach, creating a new edition of prints before taking a scalpel to them… "The fraction is the section that remains with me, the missing piece that completes the picture but will in all probability never return, its absence creating two parts that respond to one another." A Fraction is a 10–layer screenprint (345mm x 550mm) made in an edition of 6, with each print comprising two parts.
'Dots' by Katy Binks
The most recent addition to our collective, Katy Binks responded to our Fractions theme by creating Dots – a bold and deceptively simple print. But wait. Perhaps there's more to this composition than meets the eye… "I see it almost like a snapshot of something much larger" – a zoomed in detail perhaps, or molecules seen through a microscope. "I like the idea that there's more going on beyond the frame of the picture…" Dots is a three-colour screenprint (362mm x 280mm) from a limited edition of 7.
'Sliced' by Frea Buckler
The fluorescent verve of Frea Buckler's Sliced is nigh on impossible to capture with a camera. But not to worry does is provide a clear incentive to see it in the flesh. And who better to describe Sliced than Frea: "a single colour screenprint, a thick slab of ink, printed using a very coarse mesh (which puts lots of ink on the paper) in a vibrant and luminous red. An improvised drawing, made quickly, without over–thinking. Following instinct, leaving loose ends and lines that don't match up. Precise but not precise. A shape and form that suggests something but isn't anything, sections sliced and divided, fractions of the whole." Sliced is a one–colour silkscreen print (500mm x 500mm) from a very limited edition of just 5...
'Imperfect Cadence' by Bonnie Craig
Bonnie Craig's beautifully titled Imperfect Cadence "plays with the fractions of colour and shape that are created by chance when translucent squares are arranged in a seemingly random way – almost as if they’ve been thrown in the air. Imperfect Cadence represents that moment of chaos, just before order is restored." Each of the 20 squares was printed individually, placed intuitively in response to the previous layer. Imperfect Cadence is a 12–colour, 20–layer screenprint (200mm x 200mm) from an edition of 8.
'Day Breaker' by Kate Gibb
A radiant homage to the golden ratio in more ways than one, Kate Gibb's Day Breaker – a six-layer screenprint (420mm x 297mm, edition of 6) – exemplifies the experimental spirit of a silkscreen artist who continues to excite and inspire. Its combination of layered colours, textured surface and sunburst diagonals seem to pulsate beyond the edge of the frame, thanks to a tightly packed, larger than life composition. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank Kate again for letting us use Day Breaker on our flyers and other promotional bits and bobs.
'Shards' by Fiona Grady
With its tightly cropped composition and descending overlapping triangles, Fiona Grady's Shards – a three-layer screenprint (250mm x 250mm, edition of 6) – exudes a cool and nuanced dynamism. Printed in three layers, the triangles decrease both in size and intensity of hue. Transparent inks create – or reveal – additional shades of blue, reflecting Fiona's fascination with light and shadow.
Fiona Grady's 'Afternoon Ratio' window installation at Buhler and Co
Fiona's involvement in Fractions doesn't end with Shards, because she kindly accepted our invitation to create a cut vinyl window drawing. Afternoon Ratio is a beautiful piece, engaging with both the exterior and interior world at Buhler and Co. The window looks great all day long, but it looks particularly magical when the early evening sunshine streams through, painting stained glass window reflections throughout the interior.
'Dissect' by Chris James
One of the first editions to emerge from Chris James's new home-printing set-up, Dissect – a two–colour paper stencil screenprint (357mm x 256mm, edition of 9) is bursting with colour and character. At face value, it's the most figurative print we have, but look closer and you'll uncover a fascination with everyday abstractions and visual ambiguity… With its distorted window frame, fluorescent houseplant and broken crescent moon, there's an undercurrent of almost Lynch–ian surrealist noir...
'Remnants' by William Luz
To make Remnants, William Luz used only "discarded offcuts from other people's printing plates, hence the title. I then applied gestural marks using etching inks to present a more informal and intuitive approach to etching as a process." With its brush-stroked colours, Remnants takes a rather deliberate process and gives it a gentle shake – introducing a sense of freedom and playful spontaneity. Remnants is a three–colour monoprint made with etching plates (282mm x 187mm, edition of 10).
'Divisive Language' by Mark McClure
What with it being the E17 Art Trail and all that, we are especially delighted to present a new edition by Walthamstow–based artist and designer Mark McClure, whose fantastic murals can be found throughout the borough and beyond. "My work is all about fractions: incrementally dividing up areas of colour to create balance and structure. The spray paint introduces a looser element, competing with the harder edges, so the visual language is itself one of division and fractions." Divisive Language – a four-colour screenprint with spray paint (320mm x 320mm, edition of 10) – has a distinctly topical title and it's a great example of Mark's dynamically fractured, urban aesthetic.
'Cropped' by Josie Molloy
Created by cropping in to a much larger print, the edition Josie Molloy's edition for Fractions came about following her recent adventures on social media. "Most of the prints I make aren't square, but they look square in Instagram because of how images are cropped. It made me look closer at the details of a print, where the most layers overlap, or where colours are more tightly aligned." Cropped is a five–layer screenprint (368mm x 368mm) from a limited edition of 8.
'Partial Parts' by Nounua
Cork-based Nounua chose to interpret our Fractions theme by using "lino/block printing to make and print each shape separately. This allowed me to work in a more intuitive, hands–on way, rather like making a collage." The result? Partial Parts – a playful four-colour linocut (276mm x 300mm) from a very limited edition of five. "Although it's made up of separate shapes (or fractions), the final composition seems to suggest that these shapes belong together, perhaps even originating from the same structure."
Newton's Third Law' by Charlie Oscar Patterson
Newton's Third Law by Charlie Oscar Patterson is a masterpiece of simplicity, employing two semi-circular forms to explore the dynamics of compositional tension. "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Here, a pair of forces act on two objects. The size of the force on one object equals the size of the force on the other object." Newton's Third Law is a one–colour linocut (420mm x 297mm) from an edition if five.
'Pink' and 'Yellow' by Sophie Smallhorn
Sophie Smallhorn has made not just one print, but two. Pink and Yellow form an elegant pair of two–layer screenprints (both 200mm x 200mm, from editions of 10) exploring the relationships between colour, volume and proportion. "It's never a chore to work with a theme such as Fractions," says Sophie, "as most of my work is about proportion and divisions of an area. With these editions I wanted to work with colour using pattern, as opposed to flat solid colour."
'Rip it up and start again' by Supermundane
Last, but by no means least, here's Rip it up and start again. Not only is it a brilliant Orange Juice song, it's also our first screen print by the mighty Supermundane – and it's a beauty. “I’m interested in finding new connections from simple compositions. Here I've torn the design into three pieces (or fractions in this case) and found a new way of bringing them together which is both unsettling and satisfying at the same time.” Rip it up... is a two–colour screenprint (420mm x 594mm) from an edition of 18.
All the editions created for Fractions / adventures in printmaking are now available from our online store. Click the links in the article above for more information on individual prints, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any enquiries.
Fractions / adventures in printmaking continues at Buhler and Co until 09 July 2017 (Monday– Friday 8am–5, Saturday–Sunday 9am–5).