I’ve recently shown my series of Geological prints on Instagram after not really looking at them for a while. I thought you might like to know a bit more about them…
The prints came about after an odd series of conversations that ended up with my becoming the custodian of a very large collection of maps that, without my intervention, would have ended up in a skip. Endless out of date OS maps, fascinating large scale maps of the Bristol area, the odd map showing land use in Africa, and quite a few of the most wonderful, subtly coloured geological maps. It took me about a year of thinking before I came up with a way to use these geological maps as inspiration for my prints – when something is so beautiful in its own right, it becomes somewhat intimidating.
These circles are simplifications of the maps and the colours found upon them. I abstracted the main areas of colour from within a chosen circle (each colour on a geological map represents a type, or age, of rock), and printed that shape in the appropriate colour. As the shapes on the map are so amorphous, when you turn them into geometric shapes, you create many areas of overlap. As the inks I use are so translucent, this meant where the colours were printed over each other, new colours were formed, and the resulting image diverged from the colour scheme of the original map.
When I was planning each print, the process seemed very logical and precise to me. But now, looking back at my sketchbooks, I find it hard to follow my own logic – I realise that I must do more planning in my head than I thought! Still, even if they don’t make total sense, here are some of my sketchbook pages. They show planning and preparation for my South London, Bath, Bristol, Lizzard and Brighton prints.
Thank you to everyone who visited me in studio 27 during our open studio event this weekend. It was lovely to see so many of you, both those I knew, and those I didn’t. I had many a fantastic conversation (my favourite being about spittoons on underground trains, I kid you not) and received fabulous and encouraging feedback about my work. The challenge now is to try and keep my studio tidy for more than a day – it is such a treat to be able to see the floor, and not to be in danger of tripping over at every step.
I’ve been working on a new way of creating images in response to landscape. These smaller circle prints are created in a similar way to my big geological circles in that I use a single circle stencil and mask off areas to create the different shapes. I have placed each section of colour in a different position on each print, so although each one in the series is created from the same shapes and colours, each one is unique rather than being part of an edition.
The forms and colours in these prints come from a memory of a walk along the coast near Minehead. I find it very difficult to hold an image of place in my mind, but colours seem to stay put.
My fellow part time MA Design students and I recently put on a show of work in progress at UWE. I found it really interesting to show preparatory work, the work that has actually taken me longest and caused most heart ache, alongside finished pieces – the hideously ugly mould which took me months to make, alongside the carefully polished concrete piece that finally came out of it, eight of the many colour experiments with the finished pebble screenprint which they eventually led to. A really helpful and instructive experience.
Thank you to all who came and saw our show at Centrespace and gave us such fantastic feedback, and thank you to Ruth for being such a joy to show with!
It has been such a boost to talk to people about my work, and for them to understand and appreciate what I am talking about, and not think that I am round the twist for loving maps and wanting to make concrete pebbles. I don’t think I had appreciated just how valuable the experience of getting work out of my studio space and onto walls where it can be seen and commented on was going to be. I will do it again (but not until I have had a good long while to recover).
I’m alternating between excitement and terror about the fact that in two weeks I will be putting up a joint exhibition with Ruth Broadway at Centrespace.
I’m out of my comfort zone – it will be the first time that I have shown a large number of my geological screenprints all together and I am hoping to get my work to a whole new audience.
The private view is from 6.30 to 9pm on Thursday 27th April at Centrespace Gallery. Everyone is welcome, the more the merrier – especially if you have a thing for maps, rocks, museums, colour, or just a glass of wine and a chat.
Rather than dictating exactly which colours will appear on a print, I am letting the colours decide for themselves. For my circle prints I am mixing inks to match colours from the key of a geological map, and then seeing what colours are created when the inks are overprinted. A little bit scary, but very rewarding…