Top Art Exhibition - Printmaking

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Alex Thomson, Christchurch Boys’ High School

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Amokura Jean Tautari, Hamilton Girls’ High School

My plans for 2014:

In 2014 I will be attending Auckland University to study law and management.

Information about my work: 'Performance, Dance and Theatre'

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I have used imagery from performance, dance and the theatre to explore human behaviour. My initial ideas were concerned with combining both historic and contemporary print practice in a way that was vibrant, skilful and original, while keeping within the assessment framework. Thematically my ideas took on a life of their own as I researched the works of artists and adapted their processes to my own way of working. One idea that I explored throughout my work was concerned with how the stage provides a platform to confront stereotypes, which can sometimes have an ironic or profound effect upon viewers and performers alike.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

The techniques I used included drypoint, wood block, screen print, stencilled monoprints, digital printing, gel medium lift onto balsa wood, pronto plate and paper collage.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

The high points in my work came when I had to introduce new ideas. There is always an element of risk when you start to integrate the ideas and techniques from new artist models. I found, however, the more I integrated my ideas, the greater the creative possibilities, which enabled me to continuously make connections and challenge previous ideas that I'd set up. Laying the work out once it was completed and having the satisfaction of completing such a substantial body of work was also a high point. It was particularly satisfying to be able to bounce my ideas off my teacher and to have them challenged in the nicest of ways.

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Jess Adlam, Burnside High School

My plans for 2014:

I spent the beginning of 2014 working at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia on a five-week internship, before moving to Wellington to study fine arts at Massey University.

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

My printmaking was greatly influenced by a trip my family and I took to Canada in 2013. We spent our time travelling in a campervan and staying in RV parks surrounded by the woods. The contrast between the large boxy campervans and the woods interested me deeply, so I wanted to try and incorporate that and the airy feeling of the RV parks into my printmaking.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

My work was largely influenced by the artist Jason Greig and his monoprinting techniques. The majority of my works used monoprint, though I did also use some drypoint and sketching. I layered multiple versions of the same image in order to get a range of tone and colour showing through the final layer. In my last few works especially, I would sprinkle water and sometimes powdered dye onto the plate before I printed it to try and create a washed out effect. I would also print my works onto paper that had patches of wet gesso painted on them in order to add texture to the final print. I liked using techniques like these as you were never sure how the print would turn out. This became a rather nerve-racking experience, especially when it came to that final layer.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

Throughout the year, I had lots of ideas and concepts that just weren’t successful, and in the end I had lots of works that I couldn’t use. 2013 was certainly a learning curve for me – I learnt to keep on working and producing art even though the work I was making wasn’t necessary right for the folio. I certainly don’t think I would have made it to the finish line if it weren’t for the amazing help of my teacher – I am immensely grateful for all that she did for me! A high point was certainly finally finding the technique that worked for me and just going with it. Being able to develop the process and experiment with application turned out to be a lot of fun; I just wish I’d sorted myself out earlier in the year!

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Natalie Reason, New Plymouth Girls' High School

Top Subject Scholarship

My plans for 2014:

I will be beginning a Bachelor of Design (Hons) at Massey University and working on personal art projects.

Information about my work: 'Spirit Odyssey'

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

The development of ideas happened very organically. Starting with the seeds of characters and environments, my ideas grew and evolved as I conducted research into various philosophical concepts and applied it to my work. At the same time I was also exploring the reaches of my own imagination. The environmental shifts between board one’s underground scenes and utility tunnels, board two’s architectural exteriors, and the destruction of these by growing things in board three, occurred with the natural progression of the characters’ journey and the messages I wanted to include about them.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I used combinations of monoprint, lithograph and etchings, with both oil-based ink and monoprinting ink. Most prints have 3-4 layers including ground, colours and line work.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

Due to the build-up of ink and the glue content of the paper used, I was forced to repeatedly start from scratch with a number of prints where the paper stuck fast to the plate. While this was at times demoralising, I did enjoy the process of troubleshooting and working to find the most effective techniques.

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Nicole Hone, New Plymouth Girls' High School

My plans for 2014:

Bachelor of Design and Innovation, majoring in industrial design, at Victoria University of Wellington.

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I wanted to look at the concept of the shell – a hard body protecting a soft mass within. The shell then becomes a trap, consuming us and changing who we are. The young, vulnerable girl transforming into a human-bug hybrid shows how she has been shaped by the boundaries of society - the shell.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I mainly used monoprint for its loose, painterly qualities, and techniques that offered high detail, such as dry point and solar plate. The use of collage and cut-outs became an important part of creating layers and depth.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

At first I found it hard to adjust to the unpredictable nature of printmaking, having come from a painting background. However, I decided to embrace this as a way of shaping my ideas.

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Sophie Petersen, Rangi Ruru Girls' School

Scholarship

My plans for 2014:

I am studying a Bachelor of Performing Arts at the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Arts in Christchurch.

Information about my work: 'Fallen Angels'

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

My passion in the area of performing arts sparked my idea to use human figures in the landscape to convey my background concept of Noah’s Ark. In that story, it is believed that a huge flood occurred in order to dispose of giant ‘fallen angels’, called Nephilims. I have referenced the presence of fallen angels in a few of my works across the three panels. I wanted to explore the lengths to which humans would go in order to board Noah’s Ark for survival. My idea is that although human nature has evolved in its complexity over time, it remains evident that raw survival instincts can sometimes dominate.

A classic image from this story is that of pairs of animals boarding of the ark. My work features human characters desperately attempting to reach the ark – disguised in animal masks – before the floods arrive. The idea for this came initially from an installation featured in the 2012 Sydney Biennale called Rehearsing Catastrophe, by Lyndal Jones.

I also looked at the Benjamin Britten opera, Noye’s Fluddle, which looks at the story of Noah’s Ark, and decided to incorporate this performance element into an extension of my work through a video collaboration, using stills from the video to inform my printmaking practice. I looked at J. M. W. Turner to incorporate a dreamy, light-filled effect in my work. The way he deals with water, landscapes and light was something I pushed in my later works.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

Although I explored a range of techniques in my work from Intaglio to collage and monoprints, I preferred working with specifically photographic printing processes such as solar prints and turps transfers, while further developing the work with charcoal and monoprinting.

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Stephanie McCarthy, Christchurch Girls' High School

My plans for 2014:

Taking a gap year and travelling Europe.

Information about my work: 'The Beauty of Thai Buddhism'

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I had saved up and recently travelled Thailand with a friend. I was amazed by the beauty of their religion and architecture. I was inspired by traditional printmakers, especially Goya, who had very systematic line work. I used a lot of dark contrast in my work to create drama. Towards the end of my panel I was inspired by the loose brush work of painters like Jim Dine.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I had many photographs from my travels, so I edited many of them in Photoshop and then etched the photo. I had planned on using vibrant colours – gold, orange, blue, black, etc. – as they do in lots of architecture in Thailand, and I experimented with this throughout my internal assessments, but decided in the end to stick with a more traditional approach to printmaking.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

I found myself with too many ideas, areas and techniques I wanted to explore and had to dismiss many works so as to focus on those that linked and flowed nicely.

 

 
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