Monday, 2 June 2014

Woodcuts on Show - in Hawera and Takapuna, NZ.


I have just hung work in an exhibition with my print group, Waitakere Printers Ink, at the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna. Determined to continue to develop my skills using woodblocks I created a series of prints based on my continuing theme of rock pools. 



The first image I created was a 2 colour reduction print called "Anchor Me." The title was inspired by the shape of the image which reminds me of the shape of a traditional Maori anchor stone. I was also exploring the idea of what it might be like to retreat into a rock pool to hide from the outside world, safe and secure - anchored - (ignoring any risks of hungry crabs of course!) There is also a bit of ambiguity here, are we, the viewer, looking INTO a pool or are we looking OUT? 

"Anchor Me"
Reduction Woodcut Print
by Toni Hartill


For the second image I wanted to explore the possibilities a little further so I designed and cut 2 more blocks to print two tones of teal green prior to the black layer. This image is richer in colour and yet less punchy as there are no white highlights. For the presentation I layered up 4 prints, cutting out the centre of the image and rotating each print until I was happy with the composition. I titled this print "Set Me Free" as a follow-on from "Anchor Me". This time I was imagining what it might be like to have the freedom to go off on an adventure in a rock pool (again ignoring the munchy things.)

"Set Me Free"
3 Block Woodcut prints, layered
by Toni Hartill


For my next image I wanted my rock pool to be less symmetrical, more free-form. I was inspired by actual rock pools at Takapuna Beach for this one and I was particularly taken with the fluted barnacles that grew in "blossoms" around the pools. Taking what I had learnt from the last print I decided to make things even more tricky for myself and go for 4 blocks. This of course increased the challenge of registering each layer (but since when do I take the easiest route?!) My initial vision was to create an image with quite vibrant colours (as the real rock pools are a deep pinky purple) but I also wanted to see it in more muted colours, more restful. I also experimented with adding texture to the water of the pool, giving the impression of being IN the pool, looking out, hence the title "Deep Down".

"Deep Down"
4 block woodcut print
by Toni Hartill
"Deep Down"
4 block woodcut print
by Toni Hartill



In April I sent one of my woodcut prints, "Deep Down", to the Lysatt-Watt Gallery in Hawera to be a part of the Central Print Council's "Devil in the Detail" exhibition. The theme of the exhibition required the print to either include the letter D in the image, or for the title of the work to begin with D.  Although I couldn't make it to Hawera in person to see the exhibition it looks like it was a wonderful show of members from around the country. Thanks CPCANZ.


My print "Deep Down" can be seen just to the left of the arch.