Saturday, October 15, 2016

The tradegy of lost species







Those who know my work either in the flesh or through this blog and the sister blog of my live in animal friend Bosci will be aware that I have an long standing interest in anatomy. One way this love, combined with my drive for making strange things manifests, is in my collection of homemade specimens. Checkout previous posts on Bosci's blog
 blog http://boscisblog.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/guatemalan-flying-froga-chance-to-see.html
to see some of these.
Recently I have had the opportunity to make some new specimen artworks as part of a year long initiative commemorating the death of the last thylacine in existence. The thylacine, is also know as the Tasmanian tiger and was a strange Australian marsupial. Marsupials are wonderfully weird mammals whose young are born in a highly unformed virtually embryo like state. The young called joey's, emerge from their mothers, then grapple and clamber with overly large forelimbs to the distintive maruspial pouch where they find sustenance and develop. 




Thylacine specimen joey, cloning trial 1
2 days old


Thylacine trial 2
6 days old


The Thylacine became extinct 80 years ago when on September 7th 1936, 'Benjamin' died of neglect, locked out of his sheltered sleeping quarters in Hobart Zoo, Australia. I have speculated what might happen should science try to reintroduce the long lost beast using cloning technology. I have made several thylacine clone attempts. And because these mal-formed, ill-bred specimens are in jars, dead and preserved we must presume that the scientist have found the tasks beyond their means. The task has proved to be too complex and difficult and is way beyond them. They have failed. 




Thylacine trial 7
14 days old





two views of trial number 11
 having survived for 21 days



longest surviving creature;
perished at 1 month and 1 day


The way I create these beastly specimens is by using rubber and carefully crafted, complicated inside-out moulds. One inherent factor with this process is that the final outcome (when the skin is reversed and rolled over itself) manifests unpredictable peculiarities and flaws giving the creature surprising, odd mishapen characterisitcs and features. I liken these errors and foibles to the struggles encountered when modern science, expecting to fully comprehend nature finds that things dont always go according to plan.

For more about the ongoing Thylacine memorial....

and 


The message I'm wanting to project is that its far better to preserve wondrousness than to expect to pick up the pieces later.



Thursday, July 28, 2016

Humans and dinosaurs



Here is a monotype made for a small exhibition of work made using unusual devices and methods of creating a print. I had been reading about recent scientific theories that attempt to describe the true nature of everything. One theory postulates that there are in fact 11 dimensions extant in our universe. In  the 11th dimension absolutley everything is connected in a weblike network that can span distance and time. I like this idea and it seems to explain certain phenomonen well. My print is entitled ' In the 11th dimension, humans and dinosaurs do indeed exist together'.
It was made by running inked up rubber toys through the printing press.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Drypoint interventions

I've recently been running a course focussing on a printmaking process called 'drypoint'. Over the years a lot of the work I have made and shown here on my blog uses this technique. Drypoint prints are printed from plates that are made by simply being scratched into with a sharp pointy tool, like a needle. I'm showing here a suite of work incorporating some beautiful old family photograph postcards which I came across at Deptford market, South London. I made drypoint plates on polycarbonate and printed them directly onto the old photographs.






Friday, June 24, 2016

Creating dense blacks with a new approach.







Here are some images of a small set of prints I have made using a refinement of a traditional etching process. One technique I use a lot to make plates to print images from is something called 'hardground'. Maybe 70% of the work on this blog is made using solely this etching process. Simply put the process involves covering a copper or zinc plate with a thin waxy substance that is impermeable to acid. I draw through the waxy 'ground' and then cover the whole thing with acid (or a similarly agressive liquid called ferric chloride). The acid eats away into the plate and when done, the ground is removed. The little grooves hold ink and that is how one prints. In etching, deep black tones are often made using a process called aquatint but I wanted to make images with similarly rich tones without using this technique. I made these dark and looming figures by repeatedly added hardgrounds, drawing and etching then doing more, many times over to gradually build up a complex network of tiny etched lines. Eventually the network is so entwined and full that it will print a beautiful dense black. One thing that I really enjoy with this practice is that as the multiple layers are added, certain elements of the drawing take on a life of their own and unplanned things appear and evolve.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Visit to see my work

This coming weekend of March 19th and 20th 2016 you have the chance to visit my house in South London. I am taking part in the Telegraph Hill Open Studios and just below here is a link to the Telegraph Hill Festival page relating to this. The page shows information about opening times and includes a link to a map showing not just me but where the other 40 or so artists are exhbiting around SE14 in London UK. I am numbe 33 on the map.

http://telegraphhillfestival.org.uk/open-studio-2016/

There will be a lot of work to see and if you check out the blog my house guest, Bosci, in the links bar on the side here, you'll see that he is planning to have some interesting items on show too....All are welcome.




Friday, January 08, 2016

Building snowmen

Continuing the thread that follows on further below, of past work I've made for my special Christmas card editions, here are more prints from previous years. The first is entitled 'the competition' and is a small drypoint print. Drypoint is such a super process in that it is so simple, direct and easy and in skilled hands can produce images that mimic almost any other more involved and process-heavy printmaking technique, liking etching for instance. The term drypoint refers to a print made by scratching a plate with a sharp fine tool, like a sewing needle, which is what I use. Generally I scratch into a thin transparent polycarbonate material but one can also use metals like copper, aluminium or zinc. 






The next two images here are archival digital editions.





Perhaps some of you out there have received all of my editions sent out for people who have bought work during any particular year. I'm always keen to sell work directly to you via the blog here so have a browse; use the 'older posts to explore' tab in the sidebar or at the bottom of every page to see things form the past. My e-mail address is findable in 'PROFILE' or contact me by 'leaving a comment' if you would like to pursue the purchase of some work at a very reasonable price. I have sold and sent many works worldwide and would be very happy to deal with anyone keen on my prints and 3D creations.



Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Christmas card images

My Christmas card Zombie in snow-shoes series utilizes my special home-made etching ground. In etching processes, a 'ground' is a term for anything that is applied to a metal printing plate surface that one then interacts with. The open and closed areas of the ground then allow acid to 'bite' the plate making grooves that hold ink. Usually grounds are intended to be perfectly even and strong. I wanted a ground that had different properties and that would autiomatically create extremely fine detail as in the zombies bodies. Here are two more from the series of four zombies and one test plate made when experimanting with solvents to get the correct mix. The third image is another older digital Christmas edition from 2012.











Sunday, January 03, 2016

Old Christmas cards

A follower asked to see other Christmas card editions that I have sent to buyers in the past (see post below this one for more). I've been doing this for nearly ten years now. 










Here's the full card, with close-ups above. This was a digital archival print, but more usually  the cards I make use a conventional intaglio process. Below is an early etching. This is a good example of an approach I adopt for Christmas card editions, in that, to save on time in the actual printing up stage (which is pretty time consuming) I sometimes make two almost identical plates. They can be inked and printed at the same time, halving the amount of effort in the printing up stage. Individual receivers of cards are unaware that they are getting one of two (or sometimes three or four) almost identical images. 






I always keep one copy of each years print. I this case here of the Santa with squid picture and insects, I only have one of the two versions of the image left. For those who dont know about printing  intaglio plates, like an etching or a drypoint, I'll explain that each print in an edition has to be inked, wiped and run through a large press. An edition of fifty or more is a major undertaking. Small plates are quite fiddly to print up so my trick of making a single bigger plate with two versions of the image on the same plate makes the printing easier with a doubling of actual print output. Each version of the image is numbered as a separate edition.


This year for the Christmas card edition I made a series of small etchings utilizing a specially developed home-made etching ground. There were four different 'Christmas zombie' s, each wearing snow-shoes. The bulk of the body is depicted using this etching ground and then small refinements and additions are etched on top. This print above is one of the four zombies.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas images




Here is the image I produced last year for Christmas. I try to make sure that all people who have bought some of my work get an original print Christmas card made as a special small edition by way of thanks. This small drypoint print is called 'Wild man and child on Christmas day'. Any of you who have bought work directly from me this year, 2015, will be getting this years card soon in the post.



This is the third of a recent set of images (others below) reclating to
Fukishima Daichi Nuclear plant in Japan.




Friday, December 04, 2015

Fukishima Interior



I've been working on some small etchings on copper. Here are proof printings of two in a set of three images depicting the interior of Fukishima Daichi reactors. My research on the actuality of the situation at the nuclear plant has informed these speculative drawings. The disaster continues to unfold and worsen with no simple fix in sight. I'm morbidly fascinated by the possibility that one small site could cause such catasrophic earth-wide devastation.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Washi paper exhibition

I have two works on show in an exhibiton in Japan. The Awagami Factory Washi paper mini-print exhibition is designed to expand the use and understanding of Japanese washi style papers. Washi papers are high quality handmade (usually) papers made in traditional ways using natural plant fibres as the base material. One of my works, Tengu caught in the headlights, has received an 'honourable mention'. The other is entitled, Special suit for Fukishima Daichi interior. Both are monotypes.  









I produced a large set of Fukishima suit prints from which the submitted one was chosen. If you like the look of this one then please enquire about seeing or buying another in the series. As part of my research in preparation for this show I dicovered such an amazingly rich source of inspiration that will surely be pursued in future work of mine; namely the wonderful world of Kami that is part of the Shinto religion. Kami is the word for elements of nature, animals, creationary forces in the universe as well as the revered spirits of the dead and are listed in the hundreds, some being very weird indeed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_legendary_creatures_from_Japan


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Large monotypes






These are some larger monotypes from my recent series of strange
happenings and characters caught in the car headlights.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Arthub Prize

One of my prints has won a prize at the first Arthub Open print exhbhition.
Disaster on Adam West commemorative flight HA29 was  chosen as best print by Bob and Roberta Smith. I'm placing some images here of the print. One is a lower res image of the whole print with some closer zoomed in sections to show the detail of the event depicted.








Its a small edition etching of only 20 copies the remainder of which are available by contacting me directly through the email address on my profile page.



Thursday, June 25, 2015

Porcelain sculptures

Here are some recent creations. These are small clay ghosts that move gently when nudged. They also make a wonderful bell like tone when hit. Porcelain when fired to high temperatures becomes extremely strong and beautifully semi-translucent, perfect for a ghost. 





video



now available at Someth1ng Gallery in Honor Oak.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Arthub Open

I have two prints selected for exhibition in a show opening this coming Friday 12th of June. This is the first open selection print exhibition at this small but vibrant gallery in Deptford, South London. Deptford is a fascinating area, right by the river Thames with a famous street market, several independent galleries and is only a short walk from Greenwich. Its an interesting mix of old industrial and up-and-coming, new London. Heres the poster for the show.



Friday, May 01, 2015

Old Interior design

I've recently been using acrylics to add elements to pages from a fab old book from the 1960's full of the latest innovation in interior design.


Lovely dining room with a ghost



Modern living room with two annoying house guests.



Sunday, April 26, 2015

Some painted interventions


The Lovebirds.



Impressive dark beast with his crystals.


Snowbeast waiting for story time.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015

New ceramics at my Open Studio

Final preparations are being done for the open studio weekend, March 28th and 29th 2015. I have many new ceramic items including more of my 'damaged suits' which sold out last year. This time as well as the smoked fired suits with beautiful browns and greys there are pure white high temperature suits which I'm very happy with. Here are some images below including new 'shrunken stone cuddly toys'. These are a new thing too which I very happy with, again high fired so they are incredibly strong and glassy.