Friday, 30 August 2013

Print Rooms at the Summer Exhibition

To my sadness, I stumbled across the Print Rooms at the tail end of my visit to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, and they were, inevitably, my favourite place; filled with inspiration, and with a wall of mesmerising book arts thrown in for good measure.  For my own benefit as much as anyone else's, here I aim to list a few of my favourite print pieces, for me to refer back to on a rainy day ... I shall return to the book artists at a later date.
This is Silent Spring by Rebecca Jewell, with pictures of birds printed directly onto a mass of feathers.  All the things that most catch my imagination ... beauty, birds and the memory of their song, and an entirely unusual canvas!
I couldn't find the piece that caught my eye in the exhibition, but the work of Mila Furstova is something I would like to explore further.  I'm captured by the delicacy of her designs, and entranced by the way she takes her prints and then manipulates them, on a whole range of paper cuts, folds and structures.  The piece in the exhibition was a spiral of imagery so delicate that I had to check the label to identify the medium.
There's something reassuring in finding yourself drawn to the work of a well-known artist.  As if to confirm that the choices of the establishment aren't entirely arbitrary, but there is some kind of common aesthetic.  Stephen Chambers attracted me last time I visited - the world of pattern, decorative detail and fairytale.  A whole wall was dedicated to these 'Fantasmi' - a world of gold leaf and pattern from the days of icons.
This piece drew me on two levels ... first for the mixed media painting an printing, the colours, textures and patterns ... and then because I recognised it ... Charlotte Hodes has a piece in the Crafts Council Block Party exhibition currently on show at Orleans House Gallery.  It's like seeing an old friend!