Thursday, 5 May 2011

RCA Workshop: Helen Murgatroyd, 4th February 2011

"Inspired by Royal Mail sorting offices, kitchen utensils and the ideals of cottage industries, I invent tools and workstations to allow the duplication of my drawings. Motivated by a search for self-sufficient printmaking my practise combines the home kitchen with the print workshop, attempting mass-production on a domestic scale. Repetition is my subject yet the humanness of the processes I invent ensures that each picture is unique. I am interested in the space between drawing and printmaking where editions of one-offs are a possibility.
My practice is driven by a compulsion to make, while being firmly rooted in observational drawing."


Helen's low-key method of printing goes to show that you don't need state-of-the-art, artsy-farsty, wishy-washy technology to get down-to-earth, great-looking prints. In fact, doing it with your own hands is more satisfying than to have a machine laser-cut it out for you.
We started out with quick, 10-second sketches of batches of vegetables to base our prints from; it was 'go, go, go' from the second the charcoal glided onto the paper. Then, using card, cardboard and some stanley knives, VOILA: in about 15mins we were ready for printing.
Printing = pressure via hands. It was great.

(Based on an onion), making the print board

Testing prints

Combination prints: joint with the prints of two other people

(from left to right) Me, Indy and Suzanna w/ our composition 

April 2010
'French bar', April 2010, Helen Murgatroyd
'Fruit bowl' , Helen Murgatroyd

'Teapot', Helen Murgatroyd

Dec 2009
'A tool made for duplicating an image of a bowl of fruit. Made of a series of removeable templates and instructions the image is built up colour by colour.'
Helen Murgatroyd

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