in/complete landscape

impetus for making: i spent the day printing yesterday. i have been feeling that my print work doesn’t seem to relate to my video work which looks at landscape, body and gender and attempts to challenge gendered, single fixed perspective of the landscape from a position from afar suggesting power and dominance over its subject. relating to  landscape, body and gender – some of the areas i have been wanting to develop from last year include the multiple gaze or what i am now also thinking of as a composite or ‘compound eye’ having read nan shepherd’s ‘living mountain’ and how she builds a picture of the mountains from different perspectives far and near, which overlap and come in and out of focus. the other areas i am also questioning about my practice is the relationship between my video and print work and the moving and still image.  developing print and video work together and understanding how they might relate to each other is one of the areas that i would like to explore this year.

in/complete landscape  – first printing process

my printing process: i already had a square image of a landscape of trees exposed on the screen which was on stand by for another submission which i hadn’t used yet, so decided to experiment with this image. the image was edited as a reverse negative which seems to emphasise its identity as ‘image’. my plan was to print it in parts on different pages so that there could be lots of blank space on the pages and the separate parts of the image would have to work together in pairs to make up the whole image. i worked instinctively with colour, choosing a deep red which emphasise it as image or print.

combining to complete the image: i spent today combining these prints in different ways – overlapping on top of each, overlapping with a distance between them (which might make an interesting  installation if hung and the audience move to combine the images), separated and apart from each other, upside down etc. i could go on. i was also interested in the ones with lots of space between the images which the eye had to put together, turn etc to see the complete image.

in/complete landscape one – first exploration, finished prints

body movement and image – exploring print through video: as i explored different options i became interested in the body’s movement and how it played with the image, put it together or took it apart, which i tried to capture on video.

reflection: i feel excited by today’s efforts and am beginning to see links between my print and video work and also how print might offer exploratory possibilities for my landscape, body, image preoccupations. as always i can see lots of next steps which always feels like a successful day in the studio. those steps include cutting up the transparencies before i expose the image so that i get sharp edges without having to mask with paper which tends to create blurry edges. i would like to play with a split image on the one page also. i think i also need to see how the video and still image sit together as a projection on the printed image. i also think the format or page of what i print on could also be explored such as 3d objects where the body has to move around an object in order to complete the image or, having gone to the chester beatty library recently, i could try rolls or scrolls of paper which meet, coil and intersect in different ways … this might be my next step.

in/complete landscape continued (05.11.18)

some field work: i went to the chester beatty library/gallery last weekend as i wanted to see the scroll format print works there. this library exhibits beatty’s collection of manuscripts, paintings, prints and artefacts which he collected from ancient chinese, japanese, islamic and christian cultures. my interest was the print works; their forms mainly and display. some things to note – the use of concertina books and scrolls, combining print images and texts, scrolls as a device for an unfolding narrative (towrada toda scroll). also the scale – as the work of Chen Zhongsen shows – miniture text inscribed on a tiny stone draws the audience in to engage in active looking.

visit to the chester beatty library dublin

my printing process: following on from my work on split image printing which i started to explore last week, i decided to work on small scale landscape images and print on small scrolls of paper. again, i might have been better with cutting the transparency before exposure but this way allowed my to split the image vertically and horizontally. the 180 exposure timing worked well as did the colour which seems to echo the tones of the work i saw in the chester beatty now that i think of it.

in/complete landscape printing process

in/complete landscape – finished prints

reflection: i found the scroll format full of surprises as they curled into and away from each other. it might be because i worked kind of randomly – cutting off odd ends of a small paper roll that is a till roll used for receipts (so what is that saying?). i also liked the small scale to draw the eyes in. i think this scale of image really needs to be sharp so it can be read in small unfinished parts. i wonder if there is more scope for a narrative of some kind – maybe some text – or a line or? maybe the image needs to interrupted with something random – macro and micro landscape. it also seems an odd of mixed traditions – eastern scroll format with an irish landscape.  the hand holding the images together and apart in the images are also interesting and might lend itself to video work with a spoken narrative. i’m not sure if this is the next step but i want to continue to work on this paper, format and scale until i have a better idea why and what its doing. the main thing is i’m starting to see lots of potential in this form of print as part of my landscape, body and image exploration. next step? keep going with this but split the transparency before exposure, add some some apparently random elements that might suggest a narrative. why? not sure yet – might have to do with the compound eye and multiple gaze? consider using layers of colours which are also incomplete?

in/complete landscape continued further (16.05.19)

a step further: i have been meaning to revisit the screen printing exploratory series ‘in/complete landscape’ that i started which uses a split or two-part landscape image where the viewer has to move eyeline to complete the landscape into a single frame – again continuing my exploration of multiple views and unfixed perspectives. as i have been exploring the CMYK printing process in other images, i thought i might apply this process to ‘in/complete landscape’ series as another way to complete the landscape image through adding layers of colour to make up the whole. the first time i did this print on coils of paper i worked instinctively without any idea of where it was going. this time i planned and worked through possible combinations of image, form and colours. although instinct always plays a part with printing, working to a plan proved a trickier process in terms of the screen preparation and set up. also, because i wanted crisp edges, i cut the transparencies before exposing the screens which meant that i had to print a lot more separate stencils and this took a lot longer than i expected. i worked through the colours in order of CMYK although this sequence was not necessary for dual-colour images and all combinations had black as overlay.


planning possible combinations of image, form and colours.

cyan & black printing process

magenta & black printing process

yellow & black printing process

cyan and black

magenta & black

yellow & black

CYMK incomplete landscape

CYMK triple image incomplete landscape printing process

CYMK triple image incomplete landscape

reflection: although exhausted now from the numerous separate stencil printing over the last few days, i feel that there is more i could do to push this – hanging the coils, folding the paper, stretching fabric or a composition of multiples (as above) etc. but i am happy that i am a step further in developing this work. as a test i also printed the image as a 2d image and think it works as a 2d image also and might explore a more fractured image. i might like to see what happens if i hang to parts of an image side by side but apart enough to be able to move between them. i am still undecided about the colour combinations so more testing to do there but i do like the CMYK layers with a unifying black throughout them. as the images are on rolls in these colours it somehow reminds me of the mechanics of digitally printing an image using rollers of ink – hand versus machine perhaps? over all, i think this is pushing me towards print and 3d form and suggests ideas about landscape as image and how it relates to experience, movement, body, through installation in some way. and as always  – with audience at the back of my mind, it might be helpful to work towards a submission of some kind with some of these ideas in mind as a way to test and refine further – i’ll keep an eye out for a relevant ;open call’. anyway lots more to do but moving in the right direction.




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