My photographic practice has focused around different themes, but there is a single continuous thread that can be found which is about different levels of revealing and concealing. This can simply be adjusted within the parameters of the picture frame by how much information is available in the image for the viewer to interpret. At times the photographs have been non-representational or abstracted to the point where the subject is no longer identifiable. At other times the images are of recognisable things or places, and are more about the subject than the photographic process.
It wasn’t entirely clear to me how I would use photography in printmaking in an interesting and satisfying way. I knew I didn’t want to print photographs through the etching press or screen print them as an “alternative process”. But, I also didn’t know how to think about printmaking like an illustrator or someone who was interested in the drawing process.
During our research module last term, I used experimental music to guide my image making. These odd sounds, and in particular how layers of sound built over time, helped me approach printmaking using photographic images through collage. I had not used collage in my work before, so this was interesting to explore. I was listening to experimental music, so I would make and use non-representational images, they worked best, to act as visual sounds. These images were very much made through the concealing lens, as the main focus was about visualising sound.
When the research module was finished, and the developing practice module started, I was ready to approach the images in a new way. I was still interested in collage, layering, but also wanting to mix photography with printmaking. I did a few experiments using photographs that I digitally printed, and then printed photo etchings on top of the digital images. This seemed to satisfy my desire to incorporate the digital world with a traditional one.
Sarah Bodman also set me a book making challenge, as she knew that one of my main reasons for doing the MA was my interest in artists’ books, and to make them. But so far I had been thinking my way out of making them. Her challenge was a fantastic gift, as I realised it set the stage for me to have a much larger picture frame to work within, and allowed me to reveal and conceal in one book. This of course could happen in a gallery or other ways of presenting your work, but it is the modest nature of books that attracts me to them. They are certainly not modest in the effort they require, but the playground that exists between the front and back covers is where I want to be. I cannot thank Sarah enough.