I have recently undergone a conversion moment and discovered screen printing. Rather I have discovered I can screen print and I really like the medium. My occasional past attempts have always been frustrating and disappointing so I have by passed the process but this time was different …success at last. I eventually achieved the quality of mark and the scale of imagery that I wanted. It took a lot of mistakes until I felt remotely in control of the technical aspects & registration. Most importantly I discovered I could use the medium in expressive and experimental ways.
The prints shown here are my work in progress exploring personal ways of interpreting the poppy imagery of war & remembrance. Trying to make new work with poppy symbolism that might be even remotely original and personal was a daunting process. However, technique and subject matter worked together. As is so often the case the process combined with chance & accident to become the generator driving ideas.
This weekend at Llanfair Waterdine http://www.llink.org.uk/art.html and at the Grange in Ellesmere http://www.thegrange.uk.com/Grange/Book_Arts_Open_Day.html the first prints and the artists books made with them will go on show.
Taking part in arts events means that I must review my work no matter if it has been done months or even years ago to see if it is suitable to exhibit. The Chester Print Fair this weekend is no exception. On the poster it states …. prints from £10. That offers me the challenge to clear out and sell past work I have moved on from. I always find it hard to decide on a price for my work and now I need to determine that something is worth only £10 or maybe £15 or even £20. Should selection be determined by size, failure to sell, age, or because it has been cropped from a larger piece of work in the search for a better outcome? Should I put the selected low priced work in a “Bargain Box” or slip it between the other pieces I am happy with in the browser? All this causes mild anxiety as reviewing my work leads me to consider my “progression” that most enduring and favoured of educational measurements. Then comes fear … Am I actually regressing and endlessly reconsidering and reconfiguring work that I should abandon to the paper recycling? Worse still I could conclude that my prints are all failures as they do not conform to the zeitgeist and my techniques are full of faults.
Time to stop, make coffee, rummage, reassess, reassure self and resolve the dilemma by simply putting work that I like in a pile. Finally everything is sorted … I have evaluated, progressed, identified failure, censored, cropped, adapted, reworked, remounted, renamed, relabelled, checked and priced everything. “Bargains” at £10 rising to perhaps £…. will be the preserve of the odd experiments resulting in prints that are perfectly OK but will never be printed again or “editioned”. Alternatively, I could just label the box … “Cut up for card making” as any resulting cards made will at least be contemporary, unique and original. In addition … they always sell.