Qualifications and standards

Scholarship printmaking exemplars - 2016

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Outstanding Scholarship

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Panel 1 (JPG, 1.3MB)

Panel 2 (JPG, 1.4MB)

Panel 3 (JPG, 1.1MB)

Entire Folio (JPG, 3.7MB)

Sample Workbook pages

Sample page 1 (JPG, 3.7MB)

Sample page 2 (JPG, 3.7MB)

Sample page 3 (JPG, 3.5MB)

Sample page 4 (JPG, 3.8MB)

Sample page 5 (JPG, 2.9MB)

Sample page 6 (JPG, 3.6MB)

Sample page 7 (JPG, 2.7MB)

Sample page 8 (JPG, 4.6MB)

This submission drew on the personal as a topic. The candidate immediately declares the climate for the generation of work stating, “This folio was a system I have used to document the most difficult months I have ever experienced". The proposition is based in their world using an analytical and reflective voice throughout to weave in first-hand experiences as a "documented journey through mental illness". The submission has a complex backstory that is entirely personal, but also self-reflective and critically driven; the candidate’s younger sister died in a car accident involving all of their family 14 years ago – and it is the arising struggles, coming to terms with this loss in amongst depression, guilt and coping strategies that form the basis for an insightful and deeply meaningful investigation. 

The candidate’s ‘state' is often described in the workbook, not just as what is happening to (her), but also as a methodological driver for the making. The candidate is at times highly emotional, cynical, humorous, insightful – they are incredibly self-aware, which is what keeps this investigation highly critical and engaged as a visual arts project. They state, I am "interested in the human psyche and have deciphered my own, ultimately producing an unintentional visual account of this” and refer to their love for aesthetics and internet apps as a source of inspiration for their own drawings and illustrations.

A variety of media is flawlessly integrated using a range of processes including line drawing, collage, monoprint, dry point, intaglio, lino cut. The imagery operates from light to dark fields, patterned to textured surfaces (blocks). Traditional drawing into print is translated very well, e.g. the expressive mark making utilised early on is purposeful in setting up ideas of emotion and turmoil. This is captured through the energy of the marks/ gestures being used. Where the candidate employs gestural mark-making as well as formal patterning (line/grid), the gestural becomes formal.

Scale is employed to set up the emotional psychological space. The illustrational aspect of the imagery implicates a charged sensibility. References are also made to hallucination, which is reflected in the various approaches utilised to parallel this state, i.e. when the candidate is lonely and struggling, the picture plane is empty and small figures wander about and the black dog emerges in-and-out of the background. Individual images also operate as contained narratives, which are supported by the miniature scale narratives, e.g. inside a character’s head is an outdoor scene of a family with a dog. Here, the candidate takes the idea, literally and metaphorically of drawing into the processes of the mind. This device is again utilised in pencil drawings where forms (linear faces) floating behind the main subject (portrait) hover between the picture plane and background space. This treatment of subject is supported by excellent control of a carefully selected and managed colour palette and tonal range.

Strong pictorial and illustrative visual language is effectively used throughout to narrate and to create characters, noted as "Characters of Inspiration". An extensive cast of characters is developed to use in either symbolic or pictorial form. For example, the black dog is a symbol of depression. The candidate speaks of a black dog following her around and tiny long-legged figures, which represent negative thinking and meddle with thoughts in your brain, sometimes poisoning them. This accounts for the candidate's explanation of “how repressed memories work” – and is an inventive means to talk about mental illness through visual metaphor.


(click icon images to see a large version in a new window)

Panel 1 (JPG, 1.2MB)

Panel 2 (JPG, 1.3MB)

Panel 3 (JPG, 1.1MB)

Entire Folio (JPG, 3.4MB)

Sample Workbook pages

Sample page 1 (JPG, 4.1MB)

Sample page 2 (JPG, 3.8MB)

Sample page 3 (JPG, 4.3MB)

Sample page 4 (JPG, 4.1MB)

Sample page 5 (JPG, 4.1MB)

Sample page 6 (JPG, 3.6MB)

Sample page 7 (JPG, 4.3MB)

Sample page 8 (JPG, 4.1MB)

This submission took as its topic the printmaker’s print process with a focus on mark making, thought processes and material residue to build a purposeful and focused exploration.

The candidate declares their intentions and establishes clear context for the enquiry in the very first work with a print of the printmaker with his tools. This is followed up with still life compositions that document the tools of the trade and print making equipment laid out ready to begin work. From that point, the subsequent journey through the process of making is revealed as both subject and idea. Each work informs the next in a step-by-step discovery of how print processes can reveal images and engage in the conceptual through the activity of making.

The enquiry begins with the concept of the making and development of a pictorial language to represent the printmaking process. The candidate employs a purposeful approach through comprehensive documentation of the making, using found materials where everything is associated with the conception of print and print images from paper to text, cloth, masking, sketch drawings, line wash and autographic mark making. Research documents accumulated along the way are built into the imagery as it develops and images are then further deconstructed and rearranged pictorially.

The candidate develops conceptual ideas about the print-paper relationship through a sophisticated layering of ink, text, printed matter and found objects. The resulting images contain direct references to their making and a strong print sensibility. Each image questions the notion of process, e.g. the manual for print techniques are cut and pasted into the image to play with ideas of making by outlining the actual process as instruction. There is variety in the mark making and colour and surface detail, all of which are operating at a sophisticated level. Throughout the folio work, the candidate is highly inventive importing a sense of spontaneity and playfulness that is intelligently controlled.

To drive the development of work, the folio effectively explores abstract nuances alongside the language of print. As a result, it operates successfully at multiple levels within established procedural print process. A number of key approaches are utilised to record durational aspects related to the developmental time-based aspect of printmaking; these include notations, collage, figuring’s, sketching, hand writing, annotations, findings. The workbook not only documents the thinking (thought process), it also establishes a conceptual layering of ideas to advance the proposition. This involves self-critique and context using established print processes and techniques integrated with collage to construct additional layers of meaning.

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