Well I am well out of the habit of writing blog posts, but there are a couple of pieces of news to share, so I am back. The two things are related, and they have to do with monotype. Firstly, my work above, Eucumbene, is in a show at the moment at Megalo Print Studio & Gallery in Canberra. The show is called Bonsai + Print and it is the culmination of a year long project which brought together five printmakers and five bonsai artists. More about that shortly. The other thing is that Megalo have asked me to present a monotype workshop next month (May 22 – see here for details). This will be just a one day workshop to keep it as a fun and easy thing to do. We will probably concentrate on black and white images for this one, and then schedule a later class for working with multiple colours later.
The Bonsai + Print show has been really well received with many people commenting on how different the gallery feels with the living (and quite spectacular) bonsai in the space. The above shot shows a great bonsai Banksia by Mike and a large print by Annika Romeyn which also happens to be a monotype. Mike was the bonsai artist who responded to my query as to if anyone had any dead bonsai they could give me. I intended to slice them up and either make relief prints as they were, or use them for wood engravings. The dead bonsai that I received fromMike were such interesting objects though, I got stuck on making drawings of them and later monotypes and still haven’t reached the stage of being ready to slice them up yet. A prominent feature of bonsai is of course scale, with the plants looking like scale models of much larger trees, and so it just felt right to start printing the monotypes on some of my sizeable collection of old maps (that’s another story). I started drawing the trees in an upright fashion, but with them being dead, and using the maps which seemed to emphasise land as something to be used and altered for industrial purposes (like the map used for Eucumbene, which is actually a blueprint used in planning some of the tunnels that make up the Snowy Hydro Scheme in the Australian Alps) I began to think about the loss of very old trees from many of our landscapes and other forms of degradation of nature, habitat and soil that have occurred, and so my tree forms became fallen.
You can see a review of the show here, and it will be on at Megalo until April 30. Keep an eye on the Megalo Facebook page; it seems like a number of us will be giving an artist talk in the gallery at 2pm on the last day (Saturday April 30) but that’s not quite confirmed yet.