"Loch Garten", Drypoint print by Lucy Ward
Our Prints for Presents show is up in our Greenwich Gallery. We love this new print by Lucy Ward! Here she gives a little insight into the inspiration behind her new print:
This was inspired by an early morning walk in the RSPB Loch Garten nature reserve in Abernethy, Scotland, near the Cairngorms. We were guided by one of the RSPB rangers and because it was right at the end of their centre's season, there was hardly anyone else in the reserve. The forest is a special place, like something out of a dream. It’s peaceful, yet filled with the sounds and movement of birds and animals, the creak of branches and the lapping of water. The old Scots pines and undulating carpet of blaeberry and mosses make it feel magical, as if anything could happen, but the creatures that live there also make you feel grounded in reality as they forage and call, attending to their practical needs. The air is very clean and cool and smells of pine.
I wanted to make a print that brings together the feel of that place, both surreal and solid, and the sight of the loch and the waterfowl through the trees. I worked on a copper plate with a drypoint tool, sandpaper, a wire brush and files to build up a texture evoking its physical and ethereal nature, going over the darkest areas many times with tiny scratches to create rich tones. There are some birds hidden in the trees, calling back to my experience of scanning the branches for crested tits, a bird that only lives in this area in the UK, which we heard more than we saw but thanks to our guide, we finally got to watch a flock of them.
Although I often make landscape prints, I don’t usually name them after the locations I’ve based them on because they are usually normally about searching for a place that fits the atmosphere or feeling of what I want to make rather than the place itself, and can sometimes take elements from several places as well as my imagination. This is the first print I’ve named after a location, because this time it’s about this special place and nowhere else.
"Untitled", screenprint and collage by Stephen Robson
Stephen talks about the making of his striking print which is part of our new exhibition:
I was looking for a way of printmaking with colour that was closer to my painting and drawing. The print studio is to some extent a work environment that favours speed and production, so I made some simple stencils and printed these together with some plain colours. Then I took them home to my studio where I could lay them out and try some options of adding and combining colours cut out from the printed sheets.