Earlier this year I visited an exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery on the Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler’s woodcut works called ‘Radical Beauty’.
Frankenthaler’s Japanese woodcut prints were delightful to view up close; and to discover that many of the prints were made using 30-100 colours, some taking months or years to complete!
Alongside the exhibition, Dulwich Picture Gallery teamed up with Camberwell College of Arts to deliver a printmaking workshop inspired by the work of Frankenthaler. I signed up!
Camberwell College of Arts has an excellent fine art printmaking facility which includes lithography, etching and screen printing along with a number of Victorian printing presses.
After initial introductions we were split into smaller groups and shown the ropes by some of the current MA Printmaking students. They were amazing! Full of enthusiasm and offered help and support throughout the day.
We experimented with mono printing using a plywood board and an aluminium plate. The metal plate was more sensitive than the wood and when printed, more subtle details appeared. We also experimented with blind embossing and ghost prints and used various materials and mark-making implements.
Below are some examples of my experimental prints…
The workshop was a lot of fun and I will definitely be looking to take the ideas further in my practice.