24 June 2012

Arty Things - Lithography, Etching and Solar Printmaking

Recently WSA (Waikato Society of Arts) organised a one-day solar printing workshop. Our tutor, Susan Hurrell Fieldes, came down from Auckland. Assisted by Janice Meadows, she provided, in the one day, an introductory technique and three more advanced techniques. Most of us managed two or three of the techniques and I was quite pleased with my results. I'd attended a similar workshop with Susan a couple of years ago and managed more prints and more pleasing results this time.  You learn more slowly when you get older! I had done intaglio some years ago and this course reminded me how important the application of ink and the wiping of the plates can be.
Beech Forest (Solar Print - bls)

Susan Hurrell Fieldes (left) and some of class - Joan T's press in background.

Susan discusses solar techniques.

A week or two earlier Marty Vreede, from Whanganui, called at Hamilton and spent much of the day giving us a master class in intaglio. I went along to the tutorial, not as a 'master', but as an eager amateur ready to learn. There was so much new to learn, as there always is when you have someone of Marty Vreede's calibre giving a class. While Marty was present he helped WSA with the installation of the late Joan Travaglia's printing press, purchased by WSA for their print studio at Arts Post. It's dedication and the party will occur shortly!

While I'm at the art thing I should make reference to one of the best public lectures I've ever attended.  Last Friday night I attended the opening of Marian Maguire's exhibition on "The Labours of Herackles".  This is a 'must see' for students of early NZ history, art and Greek mythology. The exhibition has been moving about the North Island and I have no idea where else it is heading.  But if it comes near you go and see it. It consists of 12 lithographs and eight etchings and these very cleverly combine early NZ artworks with early NZ history, inserting Europeans, Maoris and Herakles with humour, pathos and wonder. By comparison with NZ, his original labours seem trivial. There is so much to brood on in this exhibition. But back to the lecture.

On Saturday afternoon Professor Elizabeth Rankin talked for nearly an hour on "Marian Maguire's Mythology". This put all of Maguire's print series and this exhibition into context and enabled a more meaningful reading of Maguire's prints.  I'd already had a look at Maguire's work but only 'saw' a little of it - a second look, this time in detail, enhanced my appreciation of her prints,  The only thing wrong with the lecture was the attendance - not great.

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