Family album

Printmaking Project: My family album – this is a printmaking project incorporating images of my family and relatives, places I have been, stories, myths.

The medium at this stage is drypoint, because I can prepare the plates and print them at home in the interim. Later when I have a few images I will find a studio to print.

8th August:  I have started working on a new print for this series; it incorporates my nan, my brother Geoff and me in the garden in Portsmouth, which I was about 5, and my brother was 2.  My nan is reading us a story as she used to do, where we two children are safe and loved surrounded by her comforting presence.

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Image for drypoint print: Once upon a time

I have decided to create the setting in a forest which is a place not only of danger but also of magic, mystery and unexpected happenings.  This is a first draft.  I have so far only scratched the group in roughly.  I need to do this before I continue with the background; I need to get the figures right first, then I can do the rest. 

5th June:I previously created a 3d sculpture of myself as an owl.  I continue with this theme in this image of myself in a new party dress in the garden, my father took the original photograph.  It was my friend’s birthday and I was on my way to her party.

I needed to make the head of the owl smaller and the wings much more dynamic and larger. I have also made them overlap the photo frame to give a sense of duality – of being in two time periods

I think it looks much more owl like and the owl head and wings dominate the girl’s presence much more which is the effect I am looking for. Now I can contiue with the garden and all those marguerite daisies!

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Proof No. 3,  the  wings are now better and I am filling in the garden, but more to be done

31 May: I realised the shape of the wings are all wrong, they need to be much lighter, more diaphanous, and much bigger to appear also as if in flight.

I am trying various types of wings – I need to work the owl first, do a trial proof and then work the rest of the print, to save so much work!

I am working on a series of images from my family album. I have a number of photos taken by my father when we were growing up, some of them celebrate new clothes. The image below comes from a photo taken in the back garden surrounded by Marguerite daisies (my middle name is Margaret); with my new party dress – pink and white organza.

The owl head is from a series of work I did on creating oneself as a creature, animal or bird. I made a 3d model of a composite owl which lived in my studio for some time. I like the innocence and wierdness of owls, their mystery.

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Me as an owl, the mummified cat and the Neolithic Lion Man

28th May, 2016: Above is a composite image I created last year from research I was doing into images of animals from different cultures. The Lion Man is one of my favourite scultpures.  It was found in a cave in Germany, it is prehistoric, it is made of reindeer bone, it is a man/lion figure. The mummified cat – cats were revered in Egypt and mummified. What is it about this image?  I’m not sure, I need to think more about this, but it definitely has a resonance for me. The bison on the left comes from the Lascaux or Chauvet caves.

This project is on hold while I do other things – I will come back to it later when I have gone back to my artistic roots and done some basic drawing and printmaking.  I hope to continue with this project later this year (2017).