Top Art Exhibition - Printmaking

Welcome to NZQA Top Art

Show:  Topart Homepage  |  Visual Arts Homepage

Click any thumbnail to view a larger version:

Georgia Foster, Saint Kentigern College

My plans for 2015:

I will be studying a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Art History and Sociology at Victoria University of Wellington.

Information about my work: 'Pink Light'

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I didn't start off with a solid idea. I began the natural process of collecting objects, ideas, songs and photos. My collection triggered lines of thinking, most of these concerned with the broad and inevitable theme of images. I realized that images, at their base level, are comprised of grids, pixels, dots and light. This led me to consider the process of image making and how it related to the practice of printmaking. Through investigation I began to further consider how the ideas of appropriation, authenticity and value apply to printmaking. My board attempts to question value through adapting traditional practice and saturating my work in the menial, mass produced and trashy.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I used traditional processes, such as mono print and photography, to investigate the image making process. However, I also used non-traditional 'print' processes and materials such as use of photocopiers, office supplies, found imagery and altered photogram processes. These non-traditional aspects helped to demonstrate the idea that mass production does not necessarily equal a lack of value and in turn, craft does not necessarily equal value.

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

I often found myself stuck for ideas, and when I tried to force ideas, the outcomes were unsatisfactory. However, when ideas did come naturally I was pleased to find that they were all closely linked and cohesive. My initial lack of skill and knowledge of printmaking processes led to mistakes and faults in the final pieces. I found that these mistakes led to my most interesting ideas and outcomes.

Click any thumbnail to view a larger version:

Isabelle Paine, Nelson College for Girls

My plans for 2015:

I am doing a children's internship scheme at All Saints Church, involving 20 hours of part time work with children and 20 hours of study at the Bishopdale Theological College. It is exciting to be doing something different before considering pursuing the arts or other paths.

Information about my work: 'Self Doubt'

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

With help from my teacher, I developed the visual images around the idea of self doubt, focusing on the nagging voice, so much a part of us that drags us down. The idea of locked doors, chains - and mainly thread combined with the colour red associated with power, anger and control, gave symbolic images that I feel convey my theme effectively.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

Materials used were paint, ink, wood for carving, plastic for etching, photos, thread, ribbon and red string. Processes included: drawing, carving, monoprinting, use of Photoshop on pronto plates, sewing with a needle and thread, sewing with a sewing machine! Cutting out holes, stenciling, layering on top of prints.

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

One major low point is the beginning of producing a body of work. The amount needed seems impossible and every way I explored my teacher seemed dissatisfied with. I had to develop and add to my artist model and change my model used in photographs to myself before I truly got the theme I was pursuing. One difficult but also high point of my folio was making it to the end and being encouraged to stop thinking of more ideas... three boards seems so much at the beginning, but once you get there you're left looking for a fourth one.

Click any thumbnail to view a larger version:

Jamie Spencer, Lincoln High School

My plans for 2015:

Law at Canterbury University.

Information about my work: 'Fantasy Folio'

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I used to do modelling and I am still very interested and fond of the idea of modelling and the perks that come with it. This is a fantasy folio. It is a fantasy because it shows no hints of any cruel reality.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

A lot of collaging, in order to make decisions on composition, collage is used on the actual work also.

Click any thumbnail to view a larger version:

Giselle Fortune, Hagley Community College

My plans for 2015:

Studying towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Canterbury University.

Information about my work: 'Aung San Suu Kyi and the struggle for democracy in Myanmar/Burma'

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I was inspired by the movie The Lady on this topic. I decided to construct my portfolio as a narrative about Aung San Suu Kyi's identity, life and cause. I had to simplify the story greatly: Panel 1 - Introduction & identity. Panel 2 - Struggle for democracy, 15 years' house arrest, Nobel Peace Prize. Panel 3 - Freedom (what is freedom?) and democracy (what does it entail?) and the future.

Themes, including questions, emerged as I worked:

  • Personal identity and how that can merge with identity within a cause and also with national identity.
  • Peace versus violence. Strength / dignity in peaceful protest.
  • One woman standing on her own against a violent regime - the difference one person can make.
  • Imprisonment and freedom. What is freedom? What does it entail? What does democracy involve?
  • The fragility of peace and freedom, but also its strength

Hope for the future and the question of where the story will go from here.

While this narrative is about Burma I also came to see it as a universal narrative about peace and freedom that is relevant to human beings everywhere.

Using artist models (including Kyle Bryant, Jenn Mann, Corrine Brun, Esther Hansen, Dan Mountford, Rodchenko, Platon, Shepard Fairey and Brad Novak) gave my work a basis and a direction. The results of this process became a resource from which I drew my final techniques and ideas.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I started by making drawings, then experimented with litho-sketch, woodcut, monotype, etching/aquatint, digital image manipulation, drypoint, mixed media/collage, stencil and spray-paint.

Later I experimented with combinations of these and with installation. I re-used elements of earlier drawings and prints in later work.

Woodcut, stencil and spray- paint in a street art style and Russian constructivism were especially relevant because of their historical use in a political context.

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

Our teacher Ken Cartwright's expertise was invaluable. He taught techniques, discussed ideas and gave us the freedom and support to take our ideas into interesting directions. Another high point was making an A1 sized woodcut and printing it with a steam roller in a public place as part of The Big Printmaking Festival.

Challenges: Trusting in the process of exploration when end results could not be foreseen from the start. I came to a turning point once I had nearly enough work to fill the portfolio. Then I was able to see what fitted my vision and what needed to be redone or changed. This meant that a lot of work didn't make it onto the portfolio but this was essential to the process.

Failed attempts at collagraph and solar plate printing were opportunities to learn and to try again.

I found it exciting making the final work bringing together ideas from the entire portfolio.

Click any thumbnail to view a larger version:

Amy Vasity Felgate, Westlake Girls' High School

My plans for 2015:

Bachelor of Creative Technologies at AUT.

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

The theme of my board was cartoon characters.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

Woodcutting, monoprinting, dry point, combining print with digital media.

Click any thumbnail to view a larger version:

Makayla Aitken, Hamilton Girls' High School

My plans for 2015:

In 2015 I will be studying year 13 at Hamilton Girls' High School.

Information about my work: 'Asylum?'

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

My inspiration for this portfolio came from the fascination I had with insane asylums, which was brought on from what I had seen in movies and TV shows. In the early stages of my work, I focuses on a person who was trapped in the asylum against his will. This then progressed to the idea of his desire to escape and be free.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

The beginning pieces in my portfolio were a collection of drawings and plastic etching prints. From there, I expanded the techniques by using mono printing, collaging, stenciling and other processes to help show the growth of my ideas as a whole. I focused on using materials such as water based ink, watercolours, pencil and other mediums - all of which were inspired by my artist models.

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

I found that whenever I needed to introduce the next stage of my work (to expand on previous ideas and themes), it was difficult to gather my thoughts to create the actual art. But I think what helped this was finding new artist models to look at, asking my teachers' opinion, as well as introducing new subject matter. So I was constantly adding new ideas, images and techniques as my board progressed.

Click any thumbnail to view a larger version:

April Mora, Burnside High School

My plans for 2015:

Bachelor of Science at Canterbury University.

Information about my work: 'Adolescence'

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

To begin my investigation I decided to explore my strong interest and love towards young children and child behaviour. From here I decided to capture the idea of loss, abandonment and emptiness within many children, particularly orphans of the early 19th century. After discovering the large contrast between my childhood and that of orphans of this time, I was then able to create a strong base towards the portfolio. I decided to capture 3 children - alone, sad and abandoned - on a journey to find the happiness they have long waited for.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

Through the beginning of my portfolio I created many etchings (black and white) to capture the 3 children stuck inside the orphanage. I then played with the technique of mono printing, mixing up other painting techniques and also layering up many of my prints to create a variety of works. Through this experimentation, I closely followed artist models including Daniel Richter, Peter Doig and Jason Greig. Then towards the end of my folio I experimented with the pronto plate method, using various mark making with pencils, crayon and vivd markers.

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

A high point towards the production of my work included the choice of photographing all of my source material. By taking photos of 3 children that I babysit, I was able to really personalise my prints and capture the emotion and placement that I truly wanted. I also found the photo shoots very interesting, as at times it proved hard to get the children to act sad and abandoned. Proving again just how different the child lifestyle of today really is.

Click any thumbnail to view a larger version:

Becky Jenkins, Christchurch Girls' High School

My plans for 2015:

I will be studying a Bachelor of Design, majoring in Visual Communications at Massey University in Wellington.

Information about my work: 'Adversity is the mother of wisdom' (old Vietnamese proverb).

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

Earlier last year, I went on a school holiday trip to Vietnam. I was inspired by the people and the country, and wanted to portray the depth of a different culture and emotions of the people who live there. My panel begins with close-ups on faces and hints of history and age, but slowly zooms out and starts to become more abstract, introducing the shadows and large areas of negative space. The last panel ties it all together, including the business of Vietnam and introducing ideas from artist models consistently throughout.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

The full first panel consists of dry-paint etching, with introduction of sandpaper to achieve the effects of darker grey - areas of space - and scratchy lines. I also printed on top of an old newspaper to make the print look older - and fit in with the theme. Introduction of mono prints at the top of the second panel helps with the transition, but still keeps the body of work systematic. Mono printing is a result of wiping the ink away to achieve the white areas - you only ever get on mono print, so they take time! The top of the third panel introduces the technique of printing an image after sticking it to the paper. I created a stencil, in top right so that no ink would print where the stencil lay - resulting in a white outline. I also printed into the final two pieces with Indian ink.

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

A very common one for me was forgetting to mirror the image before I began etching!! And having to start again.

Mono printing was frustrating when I either wiped too much - or not enough - ink off my plate and the result wasn't as I envisioned.

High points were just being able to experiment with different techniques and medias. Also, exploring and finding a range of different artist models which worked in conjunction with each other, and adapting my ideas to work with their composition etc.

Click any thumbnail to view a larger version:

Georgia Arnold, St Cuthbert's College

My plans for 2015:

I will be doing Level 3 NCEA at St Cuthbert's College, where I am taking both painting and design.

Information about my work: 'Computerized Playground'

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I chose to base my work around how aspects of childhood are changing through an increasing presence of technology in our lives. I focused on two different 'playgrounds' or 'platforms' that children must navigate their way through today, the physical environment and the virtual environment. I wanted to show the delicate balancing act we play between technology that assists growth and development and technology being a path to losing touch with nature and being freely unconnected.

Using found items of technology and exploring different printmaking processes, I was able to develop my style, ideas and images from fairly straightforward and literal, to abstract environments and distorted figures.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I used photography as a tool for capturing images of children at play, as well as images of technology. In the beginning I started with mainly pencil drawn images and straight drypoint intaglios, these images and first pieces created a bank of resources that I explored and altered over the course. Other techniques I used included digital manipulation on Photoshop, screen printing - which helped to create abstract technological landscapes, lithography, open bite relief prints and digital printing onto CDs.

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

Initially I had such a huge range of ideas of how I could explore my idea that I struggled to decide what direction to take. However once I had started creating images the path and development of my ideas and prints came naturally as part of the process. It is fair to say that experiencing this process was a highlight, as was the times of successful experimentation of printmaking techniques that drove the process. A few significant moments were the initial layering of prints that created a glitch effect and abstract environments.

I am quite a colour loving person, so when I saw that my board was developing in a mainly green colour palette I was a bit concerned. But in the end this restriction of colour was positive, as limiting the colour did not distract from the message or purpose of my imagery and enhanced it through the acidic feel and connotations to nature.

 

 
Skip to main page content Accessibility page with list of access keys Home Page Site Map Contact Us newzealand.govt.nz