Tag Archives: printmaking

Gas – interactive Screen Print

The seed of this piece work was planted at the international printmaking conference Impact in Dundee 2013. After presenting a paper on my work I attended a demonstration on ‘conductive ink’. I had no idea what conductive ink was but was curious to learn more. The demonstration was my first introduction to Bare Conductive a water soluble ink that conducts electricity. In the demo we drew circuits to light a LED:

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Here he is, by connecting a battery between his glasses and smile you complete the circuit and the LED on his nose lights up. It was fun, but what really got me interested was the potential to use the ink as a sensor, by running it through an Arduino.

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now a capacitive sensor the drawing can sense how close or far you are from it and brighten and dim the LED accordingly.

I knew I wanted to produce some work based around this, but the ideas stayed on the shelf until I was asked to take part in a group exhibition. The venue was Aberystwyth’s Oriel Nwy, an old Harley Davidson show room it is a large open space with great big windows and great views from the street. I decided this would make it a good venue to show an interactive print installation based around what I had been doing with Bare Conductive ink.

I wanted to turn the idea of a gallery as a sterile environment in which one may look but at all costs not touch on its head by creating a multi-sensory piece that actively encourages physical interaction.

Gas was the result, a collaboration between myself and another artist showing in the exhibition Kim James-Williams, I felt her beautifully balanced pen and ink drawings would echo the aesthetic of the wires and circuits behind the scenes. The image we chose was a drawing of the gallery itself, I love it, the composition makes the gallery seem impossible light almost like it is about to float off, fitting for something called the ‘Gas’ Gallery.

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I screen printed the image in Bare Conductive ink and attached it to an Arduino, the Arduino would then take the capacitive reading from the ink and create a varying audio output, the idea was for it to sound like a theremin (not sure what one is? Listen to the Star Trek theme tune or The Beach Boys ‘Good Vibrations’, or for a more contemporary example:

I was really happy with the end result, it was great to see people interacting with it at the opening, nervous at first, they became increasingly bold and confident and ended up ‘playing’ some really nice stuff.

Here are some photos of the opening and a video of the finished work in action:

My film piece ‘Flicker’ was also included in the show. I was really thrilled to be asked to take part in Transitions at Oriel Nwy with such a talented group of artists, you can see there work in the Catalogue. We were really grateful that John Harvey agreed to open the exhibition, he gave a really encouraging and inspiring speech at the opening, which you can read on his blog.

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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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Print Books

Here are three printed books that I have submitted to Print International 2013. The material was drawn from a range of sources, found photographs, old films and a bit of Super 8 footage thrown in for good measure.

Ceasar's awakening

‘Ceasar’s awakening’ is a 2 sided 4 colour screenprint concertina book. One one side it shows the iconic moment from the film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920) in which Caesar, a somnambulist, is awakened to the amazement of the crowd. This is offset by footage of WWI soldiers going ‘over the top’ on the reverse. While both are considered iconic imagery I believe they share more than this; an almost symbiotic relationship intertwined by the various histories of photography and film.

Incoming

‘Incoming’ is a screenprint flickbook, recreating footage of a WWI pilot running from a diving aeroplane.

Bildungsroman

Bildungsroman‘ is a concertina book with monoprint and photocopy transfer. The photograph of the cheeky chapy on the cover came from a glass plate negative I bought in a Berlin market. The drawing inside grows on each page like the frames of an animation. Bildungsroman is a German term for a coming of age novel in which the protagonist undergoes the psychological growth associated with the transition between adolescence and adulthood.

Our obsession with creating the illusion of movement far pre-dates film itself, film merely facilitated it in the way that zoetropes, flickbooks and shadow puppets have done and digital methods like cinemagraphs do now. Presenting imagery derived from film in a book is a way of placing it back into a sequential viewing mode, maintain this illusion, however, with the power to govern the pace of the imagery and even stop the flow now in the viewers hands.

The way in which we can disseminate imagery digitally is uber convenient but it risks divorcing us from some qualities of work, it’s that tactile and intimate quality that books have in shed-loads. After seeing some great examples (by the likes of We Make Books and others) when we (me, Elysia, Corinthia and Chole) were skiving off from our stall at the alternative press fair over the summer I was keen to make my own. It was a workshop with printmaker Wuon Gean Ho that gave me the confidence to try.

Bookmaking workshop with Wuon Gean Ho at Aberystwyth Universty School of Art

Bookmaking workshop with Wuon Gean Ho at Aberystwyth Universty School of Art

Currently exhibiting with us at the School of Art, Aberystwyth her exhibition Beyond the Moon is a enticing and eclectic mix of prints, animations and artist books, not to mention a spectacular sound installation by Andrew Mcpherson that I hope to cover in more depth in a later post. If you can’t get to Aberystwyth before it comes down on Friday you can see some photos and a video of the exhibition on her blog, as well as some pictures of us hanging it, seriously, you need to see the size of some of these prints! Incidentally, one of my first posts on here was in response to Wuon Gean’s work, little did I know in a years time I’d be helping her hang a pretty amazing exhibition!

Hanging Beyond the Moon

Hanging Beyond the Moon

 

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Aberystywth Paper Press Print – Collaborative Portfolio

Earlier in the year I was really chuffed to be asked to contribute to a collaborative portfolio project organized by our head of printmaking Paul Croft. Over a year in the making, this mammoth undertaking has seen Paul coordinate 30 printmakers, ranging from staff, students and professional visiting artists all with a connection to Aberystwyth University School of Art. Each contributor submits an edition of 35 prints; 30 of the resulting portfolios go back to the artists and the remaining  5 to to various collections around the country.

The portfolio really demonstrates the variety and versatility of modern printmaking; techniques range from traditional intaglio, relief and lithography to digital and photographic process. Some of the most exciting printmakers working in Britain have contributed work including Wuon-Gean Ho, Marcelle Hanselaar, Anne Desmet and Edwina Ellis the entire portfolio will be exhibited in March as part of Impress 2013 a biennial printmaking festival held in Stroud and while I’m thrilled to be involved having my work exhibited alongside theirs is a nervous prospect!

Here is a small selection of some of the prints from the portfolio, more information and images of all the prints in the portfolio can be found on Paul’s website.

All images copywrite of the Artists, thanks to Paul for his time and effort in bring such a huge project together.

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Raj Bunnag – Animated Linocut

When I first started considering how to animate my work, my thoughts on analogue animation stopped at flick-books and zoetropes but this impressive lino-cut by Raj Bunnag proves that photoshop isn’t always the answer.

The print is animated by a large-scale crank driven thingy (technical term) that resembles a printing press turned on its side, I like how its mode of display echoes its mode of production. The print itself is a mash-up of mythical iconography and contemporary pop-culture; AK weilding skeletons fight dragons on a ocean of nike trainers.

Here’s a ‘trailer’ of the work followed by a more in-depth video of it in action.

You can read more and find some pics of the work in process on Printeresting

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Print Swap

So the grad show has been and gone and I’ve got that worrying feeling in the pit of my stomach that means I’ve got to try plan the next 3 months of my life, luckily, this isn’t one of those blogs so instead of moaning, here’s some prints…

Just taken part in a print-swap with some of the 3rd years, for some reason having to trek a stack of your own work home after uni seems like a massive chore, however having a nice stash of other peoples doesn’t seem so bad!

Here they are with links to the artists (not students anymore!).

Sam Cuddy - 'Cosmopolis'

Sam Cuddy – ‘Cosmopolis’ – Etching

Corinthia Ward - 'Kiss'

Corinthia Ward – ‘Kiss’ – Screen Print

Elysia Wormesely - [untitled]

Elysia Womersley – [untitled] – Dry Point

Spencer Beale - [untitled]

Spencer Beale – [untitled] – Etching

Corrina Williams - Liam IICorrina Williams - Liam III

Corrina Williams – ‘Liam II’, ‘Liam IV’ – Etching

Hollie Smith - [untitled]

Hollie Smith – [untitled] – etching with aquatint

Leah Adams

Leah Adams – [untitled] – colograph

Jenny Wright - untitled

Jenny Wright – [untitled] – drypoint

All images copyright of the artists, You know the drill.

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Aberystwyth Printmakers Summer show – Sneaky Peek

Some photo’s from the hanging of our summer show at Mid Wales Arts Centre, Caersws.

Aber print show maesmawr 2

Submissions were high, between us we managed to hang 105 prints by over 20 artists in 2 days!

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Some of Stuart Evan’s colourful relief prints in prime position.

Aberystwyth Print Show Maesmawr 4

Gini Wade next to some of lithographs by Paul Croft.

The private view is this Sunday (27th) 3-5pm, it’s a stunning gallery with amazing grounds just 2 minutes form Caersws station, in other words a pretty sweet way to spend a sunday afternoon!

The Exhibition runs til July 1st, Midwales Arts Centre is open 11-4 thrusday-  sunday.

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Postcards!

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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Student International Small Print Show Egypt

I’ve been selected as a featured artist for this snappily-titled student exhibition in Egypt. It’s a 12 month show held in conjunction with the international art conference at El Minia university.

Two of my prints have been included; ‘Alyssa’ and ‘13.01’, both are examples of experimental photo-etching techniques I’ve been exploring.

Alyssa -Photoetching- 2012. Ben Partrige Small International print show

Alyssa – Photo-etching – 2012

13.01- Photo Etching – 2011
Hats off to Wael A.Sabour for making such a huge project a reality, assistant professor at El Minia he’s an interesting artist in his own right.
I am really chuffed to be included in the show, which features 90 students from 17 countries (I think I’m the only one from the UK; representing!) especially as the quality of the work is so high, here are some of my personal faves…
Angela Duclos – Untitled- 4.5×5.5in -collage-based digital print – 2012- Canada
Jill Ho-You -Pressure- 6.25×7.25 – etching & digital -2011- Canada
Capucine Gros -ctrlZ4- 8×12- Monotype -2012 – France
Gregory Cook – Tight Fade -6×9-Photopolymer ,Gravure ,Monoprint ,Intaglio ,Serigraphy -2011- USA
Only a tiny selection of what’s on show, for the rest and photos of the exhibition itself check out the website.
-all image copyright of the artists-
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Wuon Gean Ho – animated prints

Looking into animating my prints and photos, as usual someone got there first. Recommended by Paul Croft I can’t stop watching these stunning  animations.

She also has an exhibition opening today in the Material Gallery in Ludlow , I’ve never been but it looks like a great contemporary gallery, full of prints!

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