At the start of the Covid-19 emergency I wasn’t able to get into Double Elephant Print Workshop to do any printmaking. Then gradually I was able to get in now and then for short bursts of printmaking activity if I had another legitimate reason to be there (all to do with the workshop being positioned in a public building). Now we are increasingly able to be open for printmaking and I can book time in the workshop the same as all our Full Members. But teaching is unfortunately going to be restricted for some time. However, I plan to be able to deliver courses to small groups quite soon, but in the light of the probability that teaching might not be a reliable income for quite a while, I have been focusing on what might be other potential income streams.
Every now and then at Double Elephant I get the chance to edition other peoples intaglio prints for them. This I find that I actually like the technical challenge of printing consistently in a style of how the artist wants it to be.
Back in May I had the privilege of taking part in another of the guided walk organised by the Devon Guild of Craftsmen with the Devon Wildlife Trust. Last year this sparked off my Magnificent Mires work. This year the focus is on the Greater Horseshoe Bat Project.
Greater horseshoe are the UK’s biggest bat with a wingspan of almost 40cm. They were once common across southern England but changes in land-use such as urban development and a move away from cattle grazed pastures and hay meadows has led to their disappearance from much of the countryside.
Every now and then at Double Elephant, I have an opportunity to work with other artists. Usually it’s a straightforward request to edition some artwork that they have already created. But sometimes there can be a more collaborative element. On this occasion I was approached by the Thelma Hulbert Gallery to work with Frances Hatch – winner of the THG OPEN 2016. The plan was to work with Frances to create a new artwork relating to her exhibition starting in September which we would edition. The new print was then published during the exhibition.
In June 2017 I was lucky to be one of a small group of people taken on a guided walk in a restricted zone on Dartmoor to get up close to the blanket bogs and have the ecology of the mires explained by a Dartmoor National Park Ranger and a bog expert from the Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT). The walk was organised by The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, who subsequently arranged a “Magnificent Mires/Beautiful Blanket Bogs” themed display at the Waterside Mill at Bovey Tracey.
Although we are now entering our 21st anniversary year at Double Elephant, we always look to keeping fresh and moving forward. At the moment we are having skills exchanges with each other and upgrading our skills.
Every now and then people from various parts of the world get in touch to ask q few questions about my artwork or with technical questions. I do my best to answer – even though writing really isn’t my thing. Oddly – this month has been little crazy with questions every couple of days. So when a student from Barbados asked me nicely is I could answer some questions for a school based assignment. I said that seeing as she asked so nicely, I would. I was a little taken aback to get 14 quite chalenging questions – but in answering them the exercise was helpful in making me think.
Just in case there is any confusion – this is my own personal response to Double Elephant’s project Redefining Print. I am not wearing my “Double Elephant hat” here, this isn’t the official line, this is just a reflection on how it was for me.
I’ve had a nice message from someone called Katie Sharples in Perth, Australia. She recently ran some workshops with young school children using my work for inspiration and has kindly shared their resulting prints.
Making the Devon Hedge Bank prints.
My studies of Devon hedgerows started in 2011. The big launch for this work was an exhibition I curated at Red Earth gallery in Bickleigh to coincide with Devon Hedge Week.
On my old website I had a “Work in Progress” gallery. So that this content can still be available I am reposting some of sequenses of photographs that showed my working process here – as rather “old News”.
Here I am offering glimpses of work in progress for 30,000 miles – Art exhibition.