Scholarship printmaking exemplars - 2017

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Outstanding Scholarship

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

Panel 1 (JPG, 1.2MB)

Panel 2 (JPG, 1.2MB)

Panel 3 (JPG, 1023KB)

Entire Folio (JPG, 3.2MB)

Sample Workbook pages

Sample page 1 (JPG, 4.4MB)

Sample page 2 (JPG, 4.7MB)

Sample page 3 (JPG, 4.9MB)

Sample page 4 (JPG, 4.8MB)

Sample page 5 (JPG, 5.1MB)

Sample page 6 (JPG, 4.9MB)

Sample page 7 (JPG, 5.6MB)

Sample page 8 (JPG, 5.2MB)

This Printmaking Outstanding Scholarship submission engages in a subject area that is entirely personal to the candidate, dealing with emotions and ideas of truth, tension and confusion. They declare up front in the workbook that they are using their art practice to deal with personal experiences that have been “swept under the carpet” (*See Note below). The proposition proceeds through a process of literally facing into the truth (their truth), transitioning across different phases of emotion through clever shifts of composition (metaphorical and pictorial) and expressive mark-making.

The candidate exhibits excellent control over print media throughout the folio. Intaglio, additive and reductive monoprint, drypoint, pronto plates and transfer prints are all expertly employed. Various emotional states are conceptualised by manipulating print methods to meet their own ends. For example, soft marks depict a dreamy contemplative state – and raw, gestural edgy marks indicate the more expressive emotive zones that at times, are almost grungy in nature. This control facilitates the tension between quiet or empty space when facing ‘into’ the subject matter (within the composition); versus what is 'closer to the surface' when the candidate is dealing with confrontational aspects (media on the picture plane).

Subtleties of media really matter to this candidate; they are in charge of their own print surfaces. Media is exploited to stain, leave trace and make marks. There is a purposeful preparation of grounds. Flat layers are made on the press, i.e. the candidate mixed and printed various background colours/fields themselves. The depth and range of subtle tonal shifts in folio panel 3 have been achieved through the building up of many transparent layers of monoprint with some areas being layered as much as 10x through the press, with white on greys and vice versa (including the mixing of tertiary greys), demonstrating an in-depth understanding of transparency versus opaque ink use.

Everything on the folio is necessary - pencil drawings are as considered as the print works and operate with as much power. Devices are inventively used throughout, with different figure-field relationships subtly employed to create feeling. Processes used in the making of images are materially raw to match emotion. To set the scene, the candidate creates a series of self-portraits with a variety of media to express emotional content and feelings including representations of isolation in empty spaces and crowds of people. They then physically sandwich themselves on the photocopier to make an image – a gesture that encapsulates a sense of urgency and melancholia. This is extended further by figurative elements tumbling down the picture plane, hanging and suspended. In the final phase, birds represent a sense of freedom and empowerment and perhaps security, not only metaphorically but by being compositionally anchored to the edge of the image.

Overall, this is a sophisticated and mature enquiry that is expertly executed using the print medium. The level of control over media and composition ensures the underlying autobiographical narrative is communicated as feelings versus illustration.

* Note; p1 notes in the workbook have been redacted due to personal content.


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

Panel 1 (JPG, 1.4MB)

Panel 2 (JPG, 1.3MB)

Panel 3 (JPG, 1.2MB)

Entire Folio (JPG, 3.8MB)

Sample Workbook pages

Sample page 1 (JPG, 5.1MB)

Sample page 2 (JPG, 5.1MB)

Sample page 3 (JPG, 5.3MB)

Sample page 4 (JPG, 5.1MB)

Sample page 5 (JPG, 5.7MB)

Sample page 6 (JPG, 5.3MB)

Sample page 7 (JPG, 5.2MB)

Sample page 8 (JPG, 5.1MB)

This Printmaking Scholarship submission explores the candidate’s love and fascination of family history, her ancestors and their migration to New Zealand. They are interested in relating personal subject matter to the global, which pushes the enquiry into a proposition that considers the relationship between ancestry, culture and immigration through historical and contemporary social political contexts.

The candidate sets out to build in a political angle that suggests the idea that New Zealand could be viewed as a “false paradise” that doesn’t necessarily match the expectations and perceptions of immigrants from afar. In order to activate this tone in the work, they selectively established a comprehensive vocabulary that conceptually related to the (notion of) realisations that come to light through social processes attached to immigration. These range from; seducing the viewer through colour palettes that appear neutral at first but have hidden depths; apparently picturesque landscapes that contain actions that are not necessarily as convivial as they appear; stamps where the figures fade and lose their identity; and scale treatment of text using small font size to subvert and embed the idea that realities and underlying tensions are present, if not obvious. This is strategic and evidences an insightful level of understanding of the potential for visual language to assert meaning and claim political space.

The graphic-based aesthetic also adds another dimension, underpinning some of the technical decisions made in relation to framing, symbolism and text – techniques that exploit the graphic characteristics of the selected print conventions. These include drypoint etching, lithograph, copper sulphate etching, screen printing, image transfer, stencilling and reduction woodcut, all of which are used with a high degree of sophistication and technical virtuosity. The various techniques have been selected for the aesthetics they introduce and conceptually communicate. For example, copper sulphate etching and image transfer give a sense of age, referring to the 1950’s time period of the subject.

Pictorial conventions are well-understood and used in innovative ways with excellent facility. Flat colour, line and pattern are integrated with text and symbols enabling the candidate to not only develop the project conceptually but also to communicate their ideas clearly. The range of formats employed are well-chosen and effectively relate to the subject matter, including portrait, landscape, frames, posters, stamps, flags, diaries, passports, family trees, symbols, patterns, text and language. Everything is accounted for leading to an economic and productive suite of imagery.

The workbook is incredibly rich. It not only demonstrates the depth of research, which is vast but it also is an intelligent and analytical foray into the implications of symbology, metaphor and iconography as tools to create meaning and links to established practice, historical and contemporary design and visual arts. Overall, this is an honest enquiry led by an inquisitive mind, exhibiting a high level of ownership throughout.


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