I am in the process of producing three drypoints based on my family album. The first two drypoints contain images of me as a child.
This is the final version of My Family Album: The New Coat, which I have entered in the Teesside Print Exhibition 2017.
- Growing up near Hadley Woods – this print started as a photograph of two of me – one when I was 4 and the other when I was about 9 or 10. I have on a new coat – new clothes were very important in the 1950s when we had little money for such things.
- The image also reflects my interest in mythology which forms part of our own history in the distant past. In this I have used the feet of the Queen of the Night, the Babylonian Queen Isis who sits in the British Museum in a cabinet with her owls and strange creatures and her jewels.
- Many of my photos and prints attempt to represent a type of mystery. The mystery that we don’t know who we are in the depths of our personality – that elements of our personality and psyche remain forever hidden yet all the same have in many cases an influence on our lives, our dreams, our thoughts – we don’t realise how we are going to grow up, what kind of person we will be – will we be good, kind, or wicked, lonely, anxious or incomplete.
- Will we live up to the hopes and fears of our parents. How far back can we go in our history – our psychological history.
- Where I was born – this image depicts the place where I was born, a dark place with remnants of the industrial revolution and its Dark Satanic Mills, with its coolers, smoke, industry, blackened houses in long endless streets, the grimness of the place.
- It is where I first went to school – in a dark, stone building with its Dickensian classroom, huge fireplace, smoky windows and very boring lessons. You can’t take the north out of the girl – my background and family are from Yorkshire – it’s beauty, its wild spaces and moors, dark skies, sadness.
- The new party dress – We always celebrated new clothes which were a kind of luxury, especially in the 1950s, this party dress was pink and white striped organza and I was wearing it to a party at my friend Avril’s house in Cat Hill. I am stranded in a house and with a family I feel no connection with, can I fly away some day? Yes, I will and I do.
The above three proofs were done at my open access studio in Blackhorse Road, using Caligo ink, Bread and Butter paper from Intaglio and an etching press – a very slow but good etching press! I need to create more dark areas, contrast and try to find a better way of printing – it’s very tricky, much easier with an etching which has more bite on the surface. I have made more marks on all three plates since the first ones, I am going to try using carborundum powser in liquitex medium to create a more black area.