Learning as you play
Updated: Jun 17, 2020
Finally it is print day! I’m still without much understanding about how to do the mirroring, ghosting, shadow techniques, or even understanding how the stencils and other textured materials will reproduce once printed. But I just want to learn by doing. This is so much fun.
I run into problems. I tried to make a blended roll, but orientated it incorrectly so the colours are more blended than I’d planned. However, I am still happy with the result.
It is good to have staff close by for the printing process. It is the first time that I've been able to use the printing press in the workshop and it is great to have the prompts about the safest way to move the wheel and make adjustments to the pressure.
I try printing my image onto cellophane, and it looks great! Sometimes the layers of textured items, the cellophane, the paint on the Perspex – it all looks so pretty that I wish I could frame, as is.
I use Jasmine’s pink paint that she doesn’t need. It offsets my teals and greens beautifully. Some images have a lighter pink than I was expecting. I need to remember that the first runs are the brightest in colour. Still, the prints with a more subtle pink look delicate, refined by another run through the press to deepen the shade.
I keep printing and printing, it is so much fun. I am sometimes confused about how to cover the parts I really like, so they don’t get printed over. I just test and try. Sometimes the fear of losing a beautiful part of my image is exhilarating, as I run the print through the press again. Whatever happens now, the image will never be the same again.
I wonder how I would do this all with more deliberate technique now I understand more of the process. Would some of the magic disappear if I knew more?
I love the way the more notions of place, memory, consciousness, unconsciousness, landscape and commemoration, layer and build. Happy accidents occur which give more gravity and meaning into the images. A woman’s silhouette is layered over the entrance of a negative image of the Australian War Memorial. Ghosted figures fade from the foreground and into the distance. A woman in a burka hovers, lost and disconnected, upside-down in the middle foreground of one of the prints.
Each of my four prints is a unique multiple, represented by the connectedness and differences in all of our meanings of place. This particularly seems reflective of Afghanistan, the meeting ground of east and west, a clash of tribes and contested lands.
Whilst printing is on pause because of COVID-19 lockdown, I’m enjoying look at my prints and considering the best way forward. They look like a real landscape sitting across my mantle at home. A layered memory of place, but now also of play.