Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Here be Giants...

Waaay back in April this year, Liverpool was the scene of a show of Titanic proportions! For three days, La Petite Géante roamed the streets of the city with her dog Xolo in search of her deep sea diving Uncle. The story goes that after exploring the wreck of the Titanic he brings back a letter from her father who served on board the infamous ship, in reply to a letter sent by a real girl called May McMurray who lived in Liverpool in 1912. The giants were created by the French street theatre group Royal De Luxe and was thought up around the time of the Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008 to coincide with the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

There was a real party atmosphere in the city over the weekend, helped by the live musicians who followed on trucks behind the puppets, as well as a sense of wonder at the scale and level of detail. The show ended when the girl, her Uncle and her dog bid an emotional farewell to the city and left on a boat to sail away down the Mersey.

The girl in a boat on the second day. Each day she had a different set of clothes and went through a morning routine of waking, washing and dressing.

The girl was over 30 feet tall and walked, blinked, moved her mouth and even snored as she slept.

Reunited with her Uncle the trio set sail away from the city.

A BBC video about the event and the reasons behind it can be seen here.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Intaglio group monoprints

One of the first blog posts I did for liverpoolprintmakers was a glimpse at the work of an intaglio group who have been coming and creating work in the Bluecoat print studios for years. After speaking to them for a while they asked if I would like to come and join them in their printing and I happily said yes! Here are the results of my first printing session with them.

These are monoprints onto Fabriano, using intaglio inks and zinc plates. 

All printers in Liverpool should check out the Bluecoat print studios. Sessions are cheap, the staff friendly, and the community amazing!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Not unfinished but unstarted.

A literal blank canvas. 
This could be the start of something quite beautiful. But it's frightening taking that first step, because, in the end, you know it might not be so beautiful after all. 

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Printing onto plaster

A couple of weeks ago I went on a course run by the amazing Tracy Hill, a local artist and teacher, who regularly prints onto plaster with beautiful results (see them here). Not only can you get cool effects from just inking up your plate before hand, you can then screenprint on top of it! Very impressed with how versatile this technique is , I'm definitely going to try to do some more. Perhaps not on the kitchen table though...

I used an old intaglio plate that I really wanted to get more work out of and I think it worked really well. The plaster brings out all of the tiny lumps and bumps so it's great if you want relief effects in your prints. Plus I had a go at my very first monoprint! Such a proud moment :) Anyway, here's the results.

Circles after screenprinting


Printed with intaglio ink

Things to note with plaster :
1. Don't leave your fingers in it whilst it dries. Seriously, people have actually had to have them cut off!
2. Plaster + wood = unbreakable bond (the wood sucks the moisture out of the plaster, so if you do it on a wooden surface, don't expect to be able to lift it off...)

The Bluecoat Printmakers' blog recently wrote about the course (check it out here).

Anyway, let me know what you think. Happy printing :)

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Hospitality, according to Re-View Textile

Phew! It's been far too long since I put something up here. But never fear, I have been far from idle! A lot  of my time recently has been spent working on a project for Re-View Textile, a group based in Liverpool who meet regularly at the Bluecoat in the city (if you haven't been, go there at once, it's beautiful). The project theme is 'Hospitality', in line with the Liverpool Biennial coming up in September.

The work is created in groups of three or four, who, after each month, swap what each have been working on with someone else in the group. The aim is to have a collection of work with recurrent themes and techniques, but with very individual takes on the direction and execution of the work.

So...here's what I have contributed so far. I have been looking at the origins of the idea of hospitality, and it's role in ancient civilisations, namely the Greeks. My original piece is a screenprint of the Ovid tale of Baucis and Philemon (a moral tale which washes over the tragic death of an entire village with excessive details of a feast given for two Gods dressed as beggars), and embossed onto it the word Xenia, loosely meaning the hospitality shown towards a stranger or foreigner.

Moral of the tale - give strangers at your door food or watch your entire village drown... 

This was handed over a month ago in exchange for a dress by Jen Fenner (amazingly hand-printed, and hand-made in 100% silk).  I decided to combine the images on the dress with a continuation of the Greek theme in the form of  Hestia, virgin Goddess of the hearth, domesticity and hospitality in the home.

Et voilà! 5 days and over 200 hand-folded paper napkins later I have transformed my broom cupboard into something a little bit magical. Huge thanks to my model Jazmin Garner, lookin' beautiful :)

I have now passed these photos on and will keep you all updated with the next part of the project. Very exciting! Don't forget to check out Re-View Textile's blog for poetry, discussions and some beautiful artwork.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

First Liverpool photographs

So, being a bit new to this city I decided to go out and about armed with a couple of cameras, to see what there was to see through a lens. Here are some of the raw results - I'm feeling a Photoshop project coming on :)

It seems I got a little carried away at the docks, but I love the different rust colours and patterns.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Coming soon!

This blog's going to be full of little projects and inspirations that have filled my time since coming to the city. Bear with me!