Tag Archives: Australia

Mythscapes in the Watery Realm – Wales-Australia print exchange

Mythscapes invitation

Earlier this year I had some work featured in an international collaborative exhibition between Aberystwyth Printmakers and Brisbane Printmakers in Australia. Organised by Judy Macklin the exhibition, ‘Mythscapes in the Watery Realm’, aimed to ‘explore the significance of river histories, particularly the legacy of catastrophic flood events, for communities. This highlights the often fickle relationship they have with the watery realm that can either sustain or destroy lifeways’ (QCA). It was shown at Aberystywyth University School of Art and the Project Gallery at Brisbane College of Art.

At the time I was asked to make the work I was mainly working digitally with archival film, so it was a good opportunity to reconnect with the physicality of printmaking as well as working within a conceptual framework. It was not long after Aberystwyth seafront had been damaged by severe storms and and flooding. I became interested in peoples’ reaction to the event and in particular, their desire to document it.

The storms and their aftermath seemed to take on a double life, there was your own physical experience of them, the weather and the damage but then there was their growing digital footprint. On social media people were sharing their photos and videos, organisations were sharing information and graphs of the areas where the worst flooding was expected. Your email inbox was full of updates from the university about which student residencies were being evacuated they were even producing and sharing YouTube videos on the measures they were taking to keep their students safe. As images and videos were shared and picked up by news sites it became a feedback loop where you were exposed to the same images again and again.

One story that did catch my attention was a piece showing archival footage of similar storms in the 1930’s, the funny thing was Aberystwyth didn’t look that different. This got me thinking about how the differences and similarities between the experiences of those witnessing the storms back then and ours today. I decided to explore this by combine archival photographs of the storms in the 1930’s with contemporary responses to the 2014 storms sourced from social media.

Below are the 3 prints I showed in the exhibition with my artist statement:

Ben Partridge

My practice explores our complex and often contradictory relationship with technology. I find printmaking, particularly its alliance with both obsolescent and emerging technologies, the perfect vehicle to explore the role of technology in both Utopian and Dystopian views of past, present and future. I am especially interested in examining the role of cultural concepts such as obsolescence and the rhetoric of progress play in our increasingly fragile relationship with the environment.

Following the large scale flooding to the seafront in Aberystwyth and accompanying media coverage caused by storms in early 2014, this body of work explores how our perception of an event is inevitably warped by the lens through which we experience it.

Increasingly the plight of communities affected by flooding and environmental change is experienced in a digital space. The physical event often echoed by a second, digital, flood of information, as articles, images, opinions and hyperbole are distributed, shared and retweeted globally. Do these insights, popping up on newsfeeds between adverts and cat photos, make us more environmentally conscientious global citizens, or, do they desensitise us, forming just another part of the accumulated visual detritus of the internet

Combining nineteenth and twentieth century archival images of Aberystwyth with contemporary responses to the storms sourced from social media this work aims to highlight to tenuous link between image and meaning and how this can be warped through appropriation and decontextualisation.

I was really thrilled to be featured alongside so many talented printmakers in a international exhibition and it is well worth looking at the other artists’ work in the Catalogue.

More images of the show can be found on Aberystwyth Printmakers’ Website .

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Found this in my pigeon hole this morning, means my postcards are here!

Postcard envelope

This is great project by the Print Society at Iowa State University, their 12th Annual postcard exchange.

Each participant prints an edition of 13 postcard sized prints, which are sent individually to the university. They then pool all of the prints and send you 12 prints back chosen at random, keeping one for their collection and an exhibition later in 2012.

Here are the stats; there were 397 participants, from 38 states in the US and 8 different countries. I was one of 13 who submitted work from the UK.

This years theme was disguise. I sent one of my recent lithographs, a still from a Super 8 film showing a WWI tank in motion, it was inspired by the abstract designs of  dazzle camouflage employed during WWI.

Freeze no.1 – Photo-lithograph from Super 8 Negative – 2012

Now for the main event! Here are the postcards I recieved in return, loads from all over America and one from Australia .

Lis J.Schwitters - Inner-transformation - Archival Pigment Print - CA -2012

Lis J.Schwitters – Inner-transformation – Archival Pigment Print – CA -2012

Andre McKinnon - AL

Andre McKinnon – AL

Nicole Payne - 'Man's Best Friend?' - Digital Photography on Legal Pad - SC

Nicole Payne – ‘Man’s Best Friend?’ – Digital Photography on Legal Pad – SC

Kusta Lay - 'You Don't Know Me' - Silk Screen - TX

Kusta Lay – ‘You Don’t Know Me’ – Silk Screen – TX

Brandon Coon - '10am 3/27/12 welcome to my lab at HSU' - Relief

Brandon Coon – ’10am 3/27/12 welcome to my lab at HSU’ – Relief

Nick Ballesteros - MN

Nick Ballesteros – MN

Rachelle Hill - 'Head Bait' - Etching - IL

Rachelle Hill – ‘Head Bait’ – Etching – IL

Rhyannon Bowles - Riso, Pen and Watercolour - Australia

Rhyannon Bowles – Riso, Pen and Watercolour – Australia

Courtney Kim - 'Because you only see hwat you believe DREAM IS NOWHERE - woodcut, ink, pen - MA

Courtney Kim – ‘Because you only see what you believe DREAM IS NOWHERE’ – woodcut, ink, pen – MA

Mathew Obvebski - 'In The Leaves' - Ohio

Mathew Obvebski – ‘In The Leaves’ – Ohio

Eleanor Barbu - 'Yeh' - Etching, Screenprint - IA

Eleanor Barba – ‘Yeh’ – Etching, Screenprint – DC

If your interesting in taking part in next years exchange drop an email to April Katz akatz@iastate.edu. Big thanks to April and the University Print Society for organizing such a great project!

As usual, all images copyright of the Artists, please correct me if I’ve got any of the information wrong.

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