Last year ended in a collection of back slaps and trip-ups that has left me mostly finishing off a tin of Roses. On the up side, during December I began to finalise the image that has been chosen to be editioned at Ochre Print Studio as part of the Surrey Remembers project about World War One. It reminded me how great it is to have the benefit of discerning eyes and feedback on an image. It’s been a while since I’ve been around professional printmakers and had a chance to discuss my ideas.
When you’re teaching you can almost run yourself dry of ideas by trying to look at how a student could develop their work. It’s hugely rewarding, but sometimes leaves you at a loss with your own work, or with little time to spend on it. This last four years have been the opposite of that, and I’ve been in a bit of a vacuum.
The image that was chosen was about Brooklands, in Weybridge. I was initially drawn to research it at the Surrey History Centre as it was one of the places used by the Red Cross as a hospital during the conflict. It was also interesting that the owner shared my married surname (he was Huw Locke-King). When I looked for imagery however, there was an excellent photo of the production line for the SE5a aircraft which were one of the most heavily used planes of WW1. This is the original black and white collage…
And this is how it has developed into a three colour image…
The following week, while putting together some prints for the Christmas Fair at Farnham Maltings, I applied to Ochre for their Artist in Residence, which I felt, and still feel would be a good opportunity to develop projects like this in an environment where there are other artists always around. Also, in a way after participating in Open Studios and various art fairs, I think this year especially I’ve felt like I’m bashing my head against a brick wall.
Looking at what I’ve achieved financially by developing personal projects, I can barely afford paper and ink. I’d still like to do a residency of some type, funding wise, the Arts Council looks like the only option to someone who isn’t just starting out, but having looked at the small print, you need community connections or to be particularly good at networking and selling your work.
The next project I was thinking about was the use of a series of descriptive passages from a book based in America. I also had some other designs for the WW1 project that I think could work if I spent a bit more time on them. The year of the Sheep is also apparently the Year of the Goat. Meh