Members Takeover: Week 1 - Karen Daye-Hutchinson

During Lockdown members are taking over our Social Media platforms, talking to each other and sharing their thoughts..

Week 1 - Karen Daye-Hutchinson

"As a member of Belfast Print Workshop It is a lovely opportunity to take on our social media this week - Facebook and Instagram. We are all at home on lockdown due to Covid 19. While some of us are working out how to do things differently, most will also be seizing the opportunity to reflect and make great plans. This week I plan to make some short videos on how to print at home without a press, simple bookmaking and introduce some of our very talented members and print friends with some interviews and Q&A sessions and whatever else I feel like writing.

I think printmaking is growing fast as a Fine Art with so many forums and discussion groups all over the world accessible instantly at our fingertips, an exciting print movement.  Here at BPW we are proud to be operating for more than 40 years with our founder Jim Allen still at the forefront of International Printmaking. I was very honoured to join him in 2018 as we were both elected members of the prestigious Prism Print International, with some of the greatest printmakers in the world. Jim and Sophie like myself have ‘online only’ exhibitions at the moment due to the current situation, viewed on the ArtisAnn Gallery website; so have a browse in your comfy chair - It’s still possible to make a purchase with speedy and safe local delivery to your door!"

Karen Daye-Hutchinson

  • Mariead
  • Mariead
  • Mariead

Artwork by Mairead O'Donnel

Karen talks to Mairead O’Donnell about her Print Practice

Let’s talk with Mairead O’Donnell, graduate of UUB 2019, recipient of the BPW graduate print residency prize.

K. How did printmaking come into your life?

M. I was first introduced to printmaking during my foundation year in Derry. We had to try out different disciplines within fine art, one day into the printmaking workshop and I was hooked. There's a great spontaneity within the variety of processes in printmaking and for me this allowed me to be more expressive and gestural in creating my work which I struggled to achieve through other disciplines.

K. Tell me of a print project / exhibition / contribution you are most proud of?

M. The graduate degree show stands out for me. It represents the progression of work over a three year period and shows your development as an artist. There is a strong sense of community as well , your peers and tutors have a huge impact on your experience. You share ideas, concepts and struggles which all contribute to the formation of your exhibition, so it was lovely to share that experience with them and see what they had also achieved.

K. Do you have a favourite print or series you can tell us about?

M. My favourite series would again have to be from the graduate degree show, my exhibition was titled 'Confronting Meat'. Using meat as the theme within my practice, I wanted to challenge preconceived perceptions of beauty. The abject form of meat usually steers towards the revolting and grotesque or is conventionally looked at as unfitting. In confronting the initial feeling of discomfort I wanted to push boundaries and show the vulnerability surrounding its nature and portray the meat as something less threatening.

K. Do you have a preferred process and why?

M. My work is primarily approached from a drawing perspective so etching is my preferred process. It allows me to achieve fine line and detail. With etching there is an element of both surprise and control. I like to play with this and try to find the right balance between both. I'll throw plates on the ground and stand on them to make marks before I start to work the plate.

K. Do you have a favourite quote from an artist / poem / book?

M. “Flesh and meat are life. If I paint red meat as I paint bodies it is just because I find it very beautiful. I don’t think that anyone has really understood that. Ham, pig, tongues, sides of beef seen in the butchers window, all that death, I find it very beautiful. And it's all for sale- how unbelievably surrealistic! " Francis Bacon.

K. How are you coping during Covid- 19 lockdown; have you made any new work or future plans?

M. Yes I'm doing good, trying to keep myself busy. With the fear and worry that comes with covid-19 , it's difficult not to focus on the concerning spread of the virus. I'm looking at what can't be seen by the eye and want to emphasise the importance to be cautious for yourself and others and to stay home.

  • Alison
  • Alison
  • Alison
  • Alison

Works by Alison Fitzgerald

Karen talks with BPW Member Alison Fitzgerald

Karen Daye-Hutchinson talks to Alison Fitzgerald about her Print Practice, April 2020

K. How did print come into your life?

A. I studied Surface Pattern otherwise known as Printed Textiles at York St. After which I did a PGCE and have taught Art and Design at OLSPCK for nearly 30 years. I have always been drawn to pattern and enjoy incorporating it into my work. I didn’t get into Fine Art Printing until I took part in a professional development course for teachers on Collograph printing at Sea Court. I totally loved it, loved making the plates, the process of intaglio printing and the results. I signed up for a longer course and a few years later joined Belfast Print Workshop when it was at Riddle Hall.
My biggest challenge has been juggling, full time teaching, being a parent and getting time to develop my work. Every year I resolve that I will get to the workshop more often …. the best thing about BPW for me, is that gives me discipline to keep producing art. There is always some sort of deadline for a project however small, that will give me some focus to make work for it.
Ultimitly it’s paper and collage that inspires me and printmaking gives me the opportunity to experiment with both.

K. Can you tell me about a project you are most proud of?

A. One of the projects I am most proud of is the Community Alphabet project.
The Naughton Gallery at Queen’s, supported by the Equality Commission NI, produced alphabet posters with community groups in collaboration with local Artists
I really enjoyed the collaborative part of this project. I had been using Islamic pattern in my own work for some time and was very keen to work with the Muslim Community. It was decided that the alphabet would be a combination of the Western/English and Arabic alphabets (e.g. there are 3 versions of S and no X.) I wanted the finished alphabet to have the look and atmosphere of an old carpet or tiled wall. So I placed each letter side by side so they could come together as one large image. Each letter is made up from mixed media collages; using parts of my own prints.

K. Do you have a favourite piece or series you can tell us about?

A. My favourite print series is still ongoing and is called A mysterious scrap book.
I am interested in the texture and pattern of found and borrowed images and use a combination of images taken from a range of sources. Middle eastern designs, geometric pattern, Architectural details and bold subjects from the world of natural history. I often borrow from Owen Jones The Grammar of Ornament an influence from my surface pattern background. I connect the images to give the feeling of an ancient, rediscovered ‘scrap book’. I want the Pattern and Texture works to instil a sense of mystery and to give an impression of a collection of precious artefacts; possibly pages torn from an old book or manuscript.
Muted browns, greens, reds and turquoise are used in this collection and the prints are sometimes enhanced with Chine Colle. Most of the prints in this series are mono prints however I will use a plate many times in different combinations using different colour ways.
Often I connect the panels with wire and display them raised and floating in a box frame.
There is also an Architectural element to my work in this series. I am very much intrigued with mathematical proportions used in Art and Design. I use the golden mean a lot in my compositions and often use geometric patterns. I Come from a family of Architects my father Joe FitzGerald is a wellknown Architect in NI. He introduced me to the work of Le Corbusier who used the golden mean measurements in his modular system.

K. Do you have a preferred technique?

A. My preferred print technique is collograph. Basicly because I like to collage and I can make plates anywhere. I often have a plate in the making in my store at school and work on it when Im free. I feel its good for my A level students to see me producing my own work.
Over the years I have been able to refine my plate making process and pretty much make each plate the same way. I start with a drawing and photocopy it onto cartridge paper a few times so I have templates to cut out the different layers. I think you can get lots of quite subtle variations in tone using a combination of watered down PVA glue and scraping with a knife. Using the photocopies helps with all the intricate shapes. Its just like doing a jigsaw and can be quite therapeutic. I surprise myself with my patience when making plates.
I also love the moment when you pull off the paper from a plate after its gone through the press. Each time it’s a surprise for me. Even if it hasn’t worked I can use bits of the print to make a collage. I’m really not interested in making editions. I took part in 20 x 20 once and it nearly killed me making so many identical prints.
To add colour I use chine colle, which is sometimes cut to sit on very small areas or torn and layered. I also sometimes make my own paper to add extra textures which also makes editioning impossible.

K. What was your most recent project.

A. At Christmas I was commissioned by Hillsbrough Castle to decorate a Christmas tree based on one of the Twelve days of Christmas. I was given 6 geese a laying and told I could do whatever I wanted. This gave me the opportunity to develop a 3D element into my work. I had already experiemented in relief using two prints or more layering them and cutting and manipulating the paper. Its also a technique I have used in the classroom. This time I wanted to produce a 3D print of the goose. I worked out a 2D plate that used paper engeinering cutting and folding. The tricky bit meant I had to produce 12 identical prints to make 6 Geese. I really loved working in this way and I want to develop it more into my work.

K. How are you coping with lockdown?

A. I’m trying to teach Art from a laptop, it’s slow and frustrating. I thought It would be good if I lead by example and told my A-level class that I was teaching myself oils, so now have to do it! plus the embrassment of showing them my progress. I’ve started a self portrait to go with a series of work based on aging.
I haven’t started any plates yet. I have so many ideas and need to start one at a time but I have plenty to finish and can’t wait to get back to the workshop.
I took part in the workshop on multi print techniques run by Sumi Perera just before lockdown. It was lovely to be in the workshop with fellow printmakers, there was so much co-operation and sharing of ideas and techniques it was inspiring. I’d like to see sessions where members got together more to share their love of print when we get back.

  • Lucy Moyes
  • Lucy Moyes
  • Lucy Moyes
  • Lucy Moyes

Work by Lucy Moyes

Talk With BPW Member Lucy Moyes, Graduate of UU 2019, recipient of the BPW ‘Graduate Print Residency’

K. How did printmaking come into your life?

L. Printmaking was first introduced to me during my foundation art at the Belfast Met. At the beginning of the course we experimented with all different processes, at first I thought I would continue with ceramics. I had this in my head until we were studying photography and made stencils to photograph based on our subject, following this we were advised to keep our stencils. This is when we moved onto print. We printed these stencils without ink, and they created beautiful embossings on the paper. We photographed and manipulated the embossings which lead to even more work. Then we moved onto inking up and wiping away. I became obsessed with the various creations that could be made using 1 single stencil. Obsessed with the abundance of work created by lifting and switching stencils I kept creating more and more of them. I also used the leftover ink covered stencils and prints to create 3D sculptures, the endless outcomes and possibilities were engrossing and fascinating! Whether I liked or disliked the prints, I found something in everything to use and appreciate. The use of that single stencil, that was salavaged multiple times for multiple pieces, reinforced the significance and importance of one aspect of a piece. I view it as finding what ingredients you have left over in the fridge and making do with what you have to make a nice dish! I always look back on my introduction to print at the Belfast met fondly, and without realising revert to the processes I learned there.

K. Tell me of a print project/exhibition contribution you are most proud of?

L; Belfast Print Workshop Residents 2018/2019, at PS squared, Belfast, 24 July - 03 August 2019 Reviewed by SLAVKA SVERAKOVA.  I feel most proud of this print exhibition as it was the first exhibition from my degree show that I was responsible for. I had to rely fully on my own instincts and choices and trust myself (which was difficult as I always think we all are our own worst critics) Also working alongside two hard working and talented artists; together figuring out where to hang each piece of work to show them off as best as possible was exciting. There was a lot of switching and changing on my part, but its all part of the process. Being reviewed for the first time was a huge deal for me especially by Slavka Sverakova!

K. Do you have a favourite print or series you can tell us about?

L. I am forever researching and changing my mind in regards to prints series, I couldn’t pick just one. I do have a few favourite pieces. I admire the photography work of Susan Derges especially her ‘Luna’ 2006.

Susan Derges work explores the creation of visual metaphors focusing on the relationship between the observer and the observed. Self and nature or the imagined and the ‘real’. She captures invisible scientific and natural processes – the appearance of vibration, evolution of frogspawn and the cycles of the moon while capturing the continuous movement of water by immersing photographic paper directly into rivers or shores.

Another piece I discovered recently is ‘less' by Chen Chi-kwan, 1977. Less is More in this piece which is something I would love to explore as my work is very intense. Chen said that he had a feeling of 'separation' and 'sorrow' with respect to this work; the two goldfish in neighboring bowls can be interpreted as lovers in different lands, or even as Taiwan and the mainland--close yet separate. Which is relatable and significant in relation to what we are all going through at the moment.
I am also hugely inspired by the ‘C.O.B.R.A’ movement. A movement where expression and instinct were driving forces. I love to work instinctively and depend on my subconscious to help guide my work. I may not know what my mark making or documentation necessarily means at the time however to me meaning does not come into play until I trust and follow my gut. My work will communicate back to me when it finds its way. ‘’We have to make artists of everybody. Because that’s what they are. They just don’t believe it themselves. They believe art is something you learn and that only extremely exceptional people are capable of learning. They don’t know that art lives in people and is only brought out by people touching stone, colours, words and notes in human play. Man is not just a creature that has to do some kind of work to be able to live and no more. Every person is something special, something original, unlike any other and that is highlighted when he or she makes something, but specifically makes something of his or her own accord and does not imagine that there are authorities in art that have to be followed and submitted too.” – ‘Manifesto’ consant nieuwenhuys (1948)

K. Do you have a preferred process and why?

L I love collagraphs, I love being able to cut up and add more to them. I find scanning them, printing and collaging them enjoyable before printing the end product. Carborundom is a medium I adore as I feel that it supported my subject matter during my university years as I studied the similarities of the appearance of illnesses and alien/cellular like landscapes. (Natural carborundum is a form or star dust and is incredibly rare; first discovered in a meteorite in Arizona.) It has an extreme velvet intensity that I found matched my way of working. At the moment I am challenging myself to creating a series of Aquatint etchings that I intend to use for an Artist’s book. My most recent etchings, completed in January 2020 are showing in an international exhibition in Japan at the moment.
The process is different, inking up and printing is different to collagraphs that I am not used to but I am intrigued and cannot wait to explore and learn more about this process.

K. How are you coping during covid 19 lockdown, have you made any new work or future plans?

L. I think like everyone I find this lockdown difficult, more so as I see a lot of people being very productive in making work, exercising etc. I have made plans of books of etchings I would like to make and videos showing details of work. I have days where I do absolutely nothing and others I would be insanely productive. I think everyone finds balance between work/artwork and family life difficult, especially during lockdown. I appreciate and I am thankful my family members are healthy and safe at the moment. At times it does get difficult to be productive as being cooped up can be intense, I am saying this as a very introverted and not so social person, I am struggling, but needs must! I think without a doubt being safe, loved ones and others being safe comes before work. Simple things like going to the studio or work I will appreciate so much more now. My practice at the moment is really to distract from the seriousness of things around me. Rather than emotionally intensive work, I’m being more experimental and drawing to relax. I have been doing research when I can and making a lot of ‘to-do’ lists that have not been touched yet! I think creativity can heal stress in times like this; however I feel if it is forced and pressurised it can have a negative effect.

I am taking every day as it comes, bad days and better days… it will be interesting to see how we all cope after this time, and if we change. Maybe having this time we can appreciate our health; the people around us, teachers, the hilarity of kids, essential workers, our art, music, and making others feel better a little bit more.

(origional post here)

  • Liam de Frinse
  • Liam de Frinse
  • Liam de Frinse
  • Liam de Frinse

Artworks and Images by Liam B de Frinse

Let’s Talk With Liam B de Frinse Painter and Member of BPW

K. How did printmaking come into your life? 

L. It all probably started with my first butterfly print at primary school in the 1960’s. Ever since then, my explorations into print has drifted back and forth into my life from my days making plates ready for underground presses; radical posters, cd covers, my paintings and eventually being introduced into the Belfast Print Workshop via Barbara Rae. Basically I’m a painter who prints and not a printmaker per se.

K. Tell me of a print project/exhibition/contribution (you are most proud of)?

L. There are many that I’m pleased with that dealt with social engagement, but the one exhibition that probably stands out was a beautiful solo of mine with 100 mono type prints that was hosted by the James Wray gallery in Belfast entitled ‘Is rud Ceilteach é sin-Its a Celtic thing. I was trying to raise the profile of fine art printers in the BPW that, print was real art and not a substitute for painting.

K. Do you have a favourite print or series you can tell us about?

L. One that comes to mind was my first a multi coloured Rasta silkscreen print of Karl Marx made in Art and Exchange, a radical collective studio based in Belfast in the 1970’s, a branch of Joseph Beuys free university. It was the early days of silkscreen printing without our current health and safety standards. The main image was hand drawn with a pen and transferred to a screen via (and it was a new thing then) a photographic emulsion process combined with hand cut stencils on the screen. I sold the prints from a rucksack on a bicycle.

K. Do you have a preferred process and why?

L. I quite liked the process of creating mono types as it is very close to the method I use in paintings and love the way you pull your print to reveal your creation. It reminded me of my early days making butterfly prints in primary school. It still has the same magic for me. For me, the print should also have a story telling aspect to it with a bit of mystery thrown in. I also like to mix the different methods of printing on one print and now I’m going back to silk screen printing but still using traditional drawing skills to make and plan the images rather than nicking stuff off the internet. I suppose Warhol would be having a field day on the internet nowadays.

K. Is colour important in printmaking?

L. I love colour in printing as well as good line work. But again I’m biased.

K. How are you coping during Covid 19 lockdown; have you made any new work or future plans?

L. Its a difficult time for everyone and I’m a bit paranoid re my health conditions and age. Without the Printworkshop and equipment its back to the wooden spoon. it is a bit of a challenge. But if there is no challenge then the work will be shite. So I have a couple of screens and tools including ink etc, I can create as well paint. I also give advice on art matters and methods to my grandsons in Scotland via the internet. Isolation is no bother for me as I have spent most of my life creating in this way with the exceptions of beautiful collaborations. But again I had deadlines and now there are no deadlines, e.g. solo exhibitions to plan for. So my time is more or less concerned with research and development and experiments into colour plus line work into new areas of creativity. Sources of income are drying up as commercial galleries are closed and are trying to sell via the internet. This is grand if you can post good images on the internet. In my case I do not have the tools e.g. a camera for instant, so that is a bit of a hurdle. On a positive side I have enough work for more solos in the future and have received a call from a client in Switzerland wanting a painting.

(Origional Post here

  • Delargy
  • Delargy
  • Delargy
  • Delargy

Works by Diarmuid Delargy

Let’s Talk With Diarmuid Delargy

Karen Daye-Hutchinson in conversation with former BPW Member and RUA Diarmuid Delargy; native of Belfast who has made his home in Rural Sligo.

K. How did printmaking come into your life?

D. As a student at art college some of us were sent to Riddell Hall, the Belfast Print Workshop, for a taster session with James Allen. I was immediately taken with the look of the Rochat press, the wax, the ink and all the variables of the printmaking process. Drawing through wax to copper plates, such a tactlie experience, this was my route to creativity...it pressed all my buttons. You could keep adding and increase complexity, or scrape back too. An engrossing experience.

K. You are probably most famous for the Beckett Series (some pictured above), how did this develop into such a large body of work.

D. I made a lot of work at Riddell Hall as a member long before the Beckett Suite of the late 90s. At the Slade l met Peter Dalglish, the great Stanley Jones and Barto dos Santos, great teachers and mentors, l stayed in touch with Peter and Barto long after l left the Slade. It was around this time someone commented that my work was reminiscent of Beckett, who's prose l was already familiar with. I wrote to Beckett asking for permission to respond to two pieces of his prose, From an Abandoned Work and Afar a Bird, and he gave me written permission to proceed. It was quite a few years before l did anything about it.
Initially l only meant to make a suite of eight prints, responding to the prose piece From an Abandoned Work , but somehow once I'd completed these eight l had more to say, as l was just getting into my stride. The first plates were very line driven , l even made my own mezzotint rocker, but as time went on l found myself drawn to the more painterly mark making washy look of sugar lift, playing around with aquatint and soft ground. Probably influenced by my return to painting as a medium in the late 80s early 90s....with the first Art and Extinction paintings and prints.
I found the prose piece so dense there were more and more possibilities in the piece, l must emphasize l wasn't illustrating l was responding.
It took over, l went on my printmaking oddessy.

K. I love the multi plate etching concept that you have been working on over the last number of years, and more recently how it is feeding into your painting, can you tell us about this?

D. The idea for using multiple plates came from scraps lying around the studio floor.... as long as l could fit them together on the press. I would wax them up together so that the lines would work across the plates. You could draw on them as one but etch them individually with emphasis on each plate being different. It was initially a purely utilitarian approach to using up scraps plus the recklessness of being unintimidated by the norms of the medium, trying to get away from the "anality" of the practice. Over time multiple plates offer a chance to expand the image, in the same way Velazquez, Rembrandt and Titian added on to their canvasses. It frees you up, you can start off with a nucleus and then expand outwards to continue the visual. For me the same principle applies to adding to canvasses I'm working on.

K. What are you working on now?

D. For last three decades l have been working and visually riffing off the theme of Art and Extinction. Not only just disappearing species but my own extinction. I'm concerned about the disappearance of species whilst we have great cathedrals for art; the dichotomy of the need to make art and a sense of the superfluous nature of this pursuit....and yet knowing or believing in the power of art to create something meaningful which helps us makes sense of where we're at.
The Art and Extinction theme has also played heavily into the Shark Series of (some very large) paintings, drawings and etchings and in the last few years I feel these works to be increasingly prescient... nature's on the run.
Now l am reworking a 1982 etching "Linnegan's Kitchen" creating something l call "praintings", an on board combination of paint, print, drawing in mixed media.

K. Has the Covid 19 epidemic been effecting your practice?

D. I'm incredibly lucky to have my own space to work in and covid has given me a distraction free opportunity to immerse myself completely in the studio. I find myself able to elaborate on the aforementioned themes, as they have never been more relevant. I know how lucky an indulgence this is and I'm going to appreciate it by making the most of the opportunity it presents.

  • Lisa Murray
  • Lisa Murray
  • Lisa Murray
  • Lisa Murray

Works by Lisa Murray

Karen Daye-Hutchinson talks to Lisa about her Print Practice

K.How did printmaking come into your life?

L. As a student I learned some basic printmaking techniques that I enjoyed, but never really got the chance to progress further mainly due to work commitments and location. It kind of hung around in the back of my mind as something I wanted to explore. It wasn’t until I joined BPW in 2016 that I got the chance to brush up my skills through workshop courses, and avail of the support of other members who are always very generous in sharing their skills and knowledge. The journey has been a good one.

K. Tell me of a project you are most proud of?

L. That would have to be the CMYK Photo Intaglio print that resulted from a mentoring scheme with artist Dónall Billings, organised by Arts for All in 2018/19. It was a fabulous opportunity that enabled me to introduce photography into my print work, gain a new skill set, and was a break through moment as a means of artistic expression. I’m proud of our collaboration, the joint effort put into teaching and learning, and the results of both process and end product.

K. Do you have a favourite piece or series you can tell us about?

L. My work focuses on the inner world of thoughts and feelings, it is usually quiet and introspective. The three prints, ‘Contained’, ‘Boxed’, and ‘Resolve’ represent mindscapes in which small objects of symbolic meaning are carefully arranged to reflect thought patterns and mental processes that seek to be resolved through a sense of order, stillness and clarity. Boxed and Resolve are due to be exhibited at Down Arts Centre later in the year.

K. Do you have a preferred process?

L. I like the combination of digital photography and photo intaglio printmaking. I find that by using photographic representation and manipulation I can help the viewer look at the most mundane objects through an expansive lens and see hidden meanings. Taking the digital photo through the photo intaglio printmaking process adds another dimension to the image and I enjoy the hands-on approach to making the print and the tactile quality of ink and paper as opposed to a photographic print.

K. How are you coping with Covid 19 lockdown; have you made any new work and future plans?

L. I’m adapting to the new situation and I’m using it as inspiration for a new piece of work. I’ve turned my kitchen into a camera obscura, projecting the upside-down world onto the wall. It’s not yet finished but this piece, ‘Waiting Room’, represents a psychological space, for those periods of life in which we find ourselves waiting patiently for external circumstances to align themselves in our favour. It refers not only to the current crisis, but all of life’s yearnings for change, new opportunities and better times.