Opposites Attract

We love a bit of creative collaboration, so Bonnie Craig's experimental screenprinting project with studio colleague Jenny McCabe is right up our street.

Screenprinting plays a key role in the creative practice of both artists, but that's where the similarities end. Bonnie's work is driven by pattern, colour and geometric abstraction, while Jenny tends toward the more figurative, her expressive line-work evoking the raw energy of her favoured subject matter, wildlife. Together, they've created a series of screen printed mono prints. You can see the fruits of their adventurous collaboration in Composite, a new exhibition at The Dukes, Lancaster.

Bonnie and Jenny have used a variety of techniques – drawing, collage, rubbings and photography – to create a series of experimental screen prints celebrating Lancaster's historic Castle Hill. The project began with surface rubbings from around the area, including floors, walls, gravestones, drain covers, brickwork and pavement cracks. What followed were a series of systematic experiments with collage, pattern making, photography, drawing and ultimately, screen printing.

This process enabled them to create a rich and varied visual vocabulary, layering familiar textures with loose topographic lines, a subtle yet earthy colour palette and geometric elements. Together, they've succeeded in creating a remarkably rewarding artwork with a life of its own. It's a great advert for creative collaboration, and one that succeeds in celebrating local heritage and culture, as well as local creativity.

So, what next? Jenny and Bonnie are planning to make the most of Composite's modular flexibility, reconfiguring its elements at different locations, exploring endless possibilities to create something new, time and again. With several projects scheduled between now and the end of the year, their plan to collaborate further is already paying dividends. Future projects include a Lancaster BID (Business Improvement District) commission in November, working with schools on a series of creative shop window displays for Light Up Lancaster. Lucky Lancaster!

Composite runs 'til October 3rd at The Dukes, an arts venue in central Lancaster complete with cafe, theatre/cinema and gallery space. The gallery is open daily 11am–8pm. To find out more about the venue, click here.