12 Bodenpress Artists
Woolf in Print
11–23 April 2022
Private View: 12 April 2022, 6.30–8.30 pm.
Please RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org
Bodenpress is a printmaking studio offering courses and print sessions. Bodenpress was founded in 2008 by Helen Boden who oversees the studio management and continues to offer, and teach exciting multi level courses in various print disciplines. Courses include screen-print, linocut, mono-print and etching.
Printmaking is an intriguing art form as it has so many stages and processes. The plates or blocks are inked and wiped by hand and printed using a traditional etching press. In this modern age, it is refreshing to see work that is not printed digitally with each piece being unique. This exhibition is particularly inspired by the stream of consciousness writing that describe Virginia Woolf’s abstract thoughts.
Although getting a taste for printmaking during my Art Foundation, most of my knowledge and experience of different forms of original printmaking has been gained at Bodenpress, Chesham. I continue to print there and in my own home studio, and I have now been printing for 11 years.
My response to reading Virginia Woolf works has emerged in two different ways. One way is narrative and is depicted in a threefold technique of polymer etching/collagraph/screenprint with a muted colour palette. The other is graphic and is depicted in screenprint in bold colours.
Carol has worked with a range of media in the past, particularly textiles. Her interest in printmaking developed after retiring from teaching. She has worked with a range of techniques including collagraph, reduction lino cutting, monotype and screen printing.
Approaching this project, I initially became interested in the love letters and diary extracts of Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West. This was the inspiration for Wanting where I have used a combination of techniques to represent the two women and their relationship. Incandescence is a monotype that was inspired by The Waves.
Using a variety of traditional printmaking techniques to create modern, contemporary, abstract, hand-pulled prints in small limited editions, each one inked by hand. Many of my prints are marked as part of Variable Editions – where every print is slightly different and unique.
‘Woolf in Print’ is the 5th literary-themed exhibition by the Bodenpress Group and is perhaps the most visually inspired. Every page of Virginia Woolf’s writing is filled with abstract shapes and colours, linked to deep emotions. The layering of feelings with sometimes unreliable memories and actual events creates a very modern, contemporary and abstract image.
The prints I am showing in this exhibition were all inspired by ‘Orlando’
Helen Boden was born in London but grew up in the heart of Wales. Studied a Fine Art degree at Coventry and later Printmaking MA at Chelsea School of Art. After two print residencies at Harrow and Kensington and Chelsea, she became a master editioner for artist Brenda Hartill for many years.
My inspiration for this exhibition stems from reading Jacobs Room by Virginia Woolf and spending time in my new garden. The wildlife around including butterflies as well as planting wildflowers were a big influence.
My work considers the space and shapes created by the light and texture that we see in everyday life. These pieces are quite painterly as I have used mainly the process of screen print and monoprint. A new printmaking studio at the end of the garden generates a good atmosphere for creativity for myself and fellow printmakers.
The constant theme in my work is represented by ‘the line’ which creates a connection between my past and my present. My working method has been developed out of necessity: very little time and a growing family which required a way of working allowing bursts of hard graft and period of neglect. As the years have passed, I can now spend time developing ideas and colour schemes all still underpinned by the line.
My artwork is not a constant narrative; it can sometimes be thematic. However, it is united by the hands which makes it and the printing method used. What I like about printing is best described by artist Stephen Chambers who says: ‘printing is a mix of Chance, Recklessness and the unexpected’, that is why I am drawn to it because it has an element of control and surprise. I am interested in patterns which are inspired by nature, authors, art history and the rhythm of poetry. I like exploring printmaking with different methods such as photopolymer etching, screenprinting, monoprinting, and drypoint.
Jon Flint is a longtime printmaker whose subjects range from the natural world to the built environment and from everyday objects to mythology.
I have really enjoyed exploring the rich descriptive detail in Virginia Woolf’s writing. My prints are inspired by two novels – Orlando and To the Lighthouse. From the long train of events in Orlando, I’ve focussed on the point in the book when she quits her post as ambassador to Constantinople. From To the Lighthouse I’ve chosen to do two portraits: Mrs Ramsay, the mainstay of the family, whose calm presence permeates the book even after her death; and, in contrast, the Ramsays’ friend, the ’lean and red and raucous’ Charles Tansley.
Between an Art History degree in the 70s and a Fine Art BA at the University for the Creative Arts in Canterbury in 2006, I spent many years enjoying a variety of art processes as a hobby whilst teaching Early Years children in local schools. In 2014 I joined Bodenpress studio to concentrate on mastering a range of printmaking techniques, in particular collagraph, mono printing and screen printing.
I love to focus on themes of pattern, order and sequence. My compositions have often been inspired by vintage fabric designs and owe a debt to my family history of interior designing (the Silver Studio, 1850s- 1930s).
Virginia Woolf’s poetic writing in ‘To the Lighthouse’ and ‘The Waves’ dwells on the sights and sounds of the natural world of water, light, rocks and sand. I have enjoyed translating her poetic language into the more formal language of shape and line, as well as colour and texture. The printmaking technique of collagraph gives me great scope for a variety of mark making to hint at the texture of natural things, whilst the technique of screen printing gives me the graphic clarity of shape and line.
I studied mixed media, life drawing, printmaking and the history of art at Amersham and Wycombe College. I exhibit regularly with local art groups and galleries and a member of Buckinghamshire Art Society. More recently I was a student at the Newlyn School of Art, Defining Practice and have exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2019, and previously at Dulwich Picture Gallery.
Having previously worked as a midwife, my journey into printmaking and art has been an exciting one of discovery, on occasions with some unexpected results. My work is influenced by what and how I see the world around me and I spend regular time sketching and getting to know the location I am working in. This could be an area of a town or landscape, but also could be a still life or life drawing.
Printmaking has brought out ideas that I hadn’t previously either understood or discovered. The way the inks and colours are rolled out and put on the plate can produce surprising and unexpected results and the different methods of printmaking has fascinated me from the outset.
My recent prints inspired by Virginia Woolf are produced using the method of Polymer Gravure with monotype. The subject was sketched out initially and then drawn onto a true grain plate before exposing this to the polymer plate using a double exposure in a light box. This gives me the texture I require to print the plate up. This texture was also enhanced by the use of stencils and other mark making tools before exposure.
My printed work is always based on a lifetime of drawing. Drawing gives me an opportunity to express my response to nature and a reflection of what I see around me. Some of these drawings can be developed into print where the methods I prefer are linocut or monoprint.
I originally trained as a graphic designer but began printmaking 24 years ago, first doing a course at Amersham college, buying a small press and working from home, then discovering Bodenpress where I learned a huge amount from Helen Boden.
I particularly enjoy the reduction Lino process but also screen printing, collagraph, and polymer etching. I usually draw up a design for a print in my sketchbook, roughly working out how many and which colours to use.
Recently I have been working in mixed media, cutting up prints and screen printing and collaging onto them. The subject matter I am drawn to tends to be figurative and I particularly like making prints of animals and birds. I also like images relating to Art Deco and the 1920s.
Born and brought up in Yorkshire, I moved to London to study for my degree at Hornsey College of Art, and went on to have a successful career in graphic design . Although still working as a freelance designer and illustrator – printmaking and painting are becoming a greater part of my working life.
Inspiration comes from curiosity and observation although using conventional materials, I am not interested in merely a representational view, but want to abstract the elements and add in an emotional and personal perspective. Using Virginia Woolf as inspiration I wanted to try and create some work illustrating the poetry and mystery in her writing.
I have worked as an artist for the last 15 years. I have a certificate inFine Art in Printmaking from the world-renowned Curwen Print Study centre and an MA in Fine Art from the University of Hertfordshire, where I specialised in printmaking. I make work about the landscape of life- personal and political, and I am interested in human resilience- how we survive and thrive in the aftermath of trauma. Being able to take daily walks has kept me on an even keel during lockdown.
Land and Sea is a response to the landscapes I have walked in during lockdown. I have used photopolymer etching to make this print as it is a safe, non-toxic method of printmaking.
‘…. and through the waves came the voices of birds singing.’
The Waves by V Woolf