West Yorkshire Print Workshop Gallery 10 January – 7 February 2015
Form/Fragment presents five contemporary artists from around the UK whose work explores the potential of the print medium beyond the two-dimensional plane. Using both traditional and digital printmaking techniques- often in combination- these artists launch investigations into disparate themes, then- through folding, sculpting, wrapping, scrunching, collaging, arranging and animating- reinforce their creative assertions by propelling them into the three-dimensional realm. Aiming to create what artist Paul Furneaux describes as a ‘shifting passage between the pictorial and the physical space,’ the artists presented here defy conventional limitations of printmaking, break the boundaries of the picture frame and bring new life to the techniques of screen print, lithography, woodcut, linocut and photo-etching.
Exhibiting artists are:
Victoria Ahrens www.victoriaahrens.com
Fiona Hepburn www.fionahepburn.com
Paul Furneaux www.paulfurneaux.com
Ian Wilkins www.ianwilkins.info
Gemma Wright www.gemmawright.wordpress.com
Edinburgh-based artist Paul Furneaux begins with the traditional Japanese woodblock technique of Mokuhanga, forming beautifully contemplative and semi-abstract responses to the elemental landscape. Captured and printed in watercolour onto handmade Japanese paper are the artist’s observations ofnature’s alluring idiosyncrasies; a moment’s interplay of light and shadow, an atmosphere produced by rainfall, or the way in which a group of natural forms interlock with one another. In much of Furneaux’s work, this reduced imagery is enlivened by its subtle projection from the wall surface as it encases mysterious sculptural forms.
Fiona Hepburn’s projection of print beyond two dimensions similarly addresses the precarious and everchanging state of the natural world, drawing connections between the reproductive powers of printmaking and nature’s obsessive role in harnessing continual growth. Responding to found organic objects, particular those of madreporic origin, Hepburn embarks on the simultaneously destructive and constructive processes of cutting and collaging printed works into physical objects which celebrate fragility, tactility and the innate appeal of limitless repetition.
Whilst Hepburn’s work is consumed by the repetitive, structural make-up of geological landscapes, Gemma Wright’s multi-disciplinary approach to printmaking references the structure of cities- both real and fictional- and the modular systems of modernist architecture. In Form/Fragment, territories of mathematical, origami shapes- having begun life as silkscreen prints- occupy several parts of the gallery space, their varying arrangements mimicking imagined cityscapes whilst drawing attention to WYPW’s own distinct spatial characteristics. The pleasantly hypnotic animation Rhombic Tetrahedra is Wright’s attempt at energizing the viewer’s perception of pattern, repetition and motion, and simultaneously is a reflection on the therapeutic act of transforming her screen prints into sculptural objects.
A deep concern for pattern is also glimpsed in the work of Ian Wilkins, who playfully celebrates the simple pleasures of making through bold and expressive use of texture and colour. Basic and inexpensive materials such as cardboard and MDF are integral to Wilkins’ application of printed imagery, their surfaces embedded- through lithography, linocut and woodcut- with visual motifs inspired by religious iconography, archaeology and science fiction. The artist’s subsequent leap into the third dimension transforms such rudimental matter into treasured artefacts reminiscent of childhood play.
Concerned with the fragmentary and imperfect nature of memory, Victoria Ahrens combines printmaking and photographic processes- both traditional/analogue and digital- to create installations that investigate ruins, lost geographies, and our vulnerable relationships with landscapes of the past. Abstracted and fragmented imagery, as derived from rediscovered analogue snapshots of rivers, waterfalls, and mountains, is drawn out and reworked through processes of photo etching and photo collaging. Having achieved a degree in Sculpture at Central St Martins before embarking on printmaking, Ahrens’ appropriation of print material as inhabiting space beyond the pictorial serves brilliantly the notions of impermanence, instability and fragility inherent in her topographical inquiries.
Opening hours Monday – Friday: 10.30am – 6pm
Late night opening: until 10pm Tuesdays
Saturdays: 10.30am – 3pm