Nandi Flame - linocut
Golden Shower - linocut
Darling Hibiscus - linocut
I am an artist printmaker producing original botanical relief prints. I create linocuts by carving my drawings on traditional lino and Japanese vinyl cutting surfaces using specialist carving tools, inking with oil-based printmaking inks and printing by hand or with an etching press. Immersing myself in my printmaking practice for professional development has led to submissions to open call exhibitions in Kenya and England.
Since May 2018, I have been working on the Garden Plants of Kenya series of linocuts, based on my nine-month trip to equatorial Kenya.As a printmaker with 15 years’ experience of teaching with museums and arts organisations, I wanted to revisit my printmaking practice to build a body of work around a subject about which I feel incredibly passionate. Spending my formative years in Kenya and visiting annually has given me the valuable opportunity of observing, connecting with and absorbing the surrounding natural beauty found within urban, back-garden flora. I explore the concept of a 'sense of home, place and comfort', by looking at natural light and colour transformations on commonly found plants dotted amidst the red soil, dappled by equatorial day and dusk light. I work from life studies or from my photographic collection accompanied with colour studies.
My method of working up a reduction linocut print begins with an initial, loose plan of the colours and number of layers involved. The print then evolves naturally as layers are built up from light to dark or taking them down again from dark to light. Some linocut prints incorporate a monotype technique of inking up the blocks as in a painterly approach, blending colours directly on the lino block, resulting as unique prints within an edition. The colour palette is often exaggerated to reflect the glowing equatorial light and its luminosity on plants, enhancing the vibrancy of their colours.
Linocut as a technique lends itself to structure and form in this series through its rigidity, while allowing to convey linear details. Building variations of colour tones into each layer of a print in the reduction method allows for observations of natural light to be detailed. Intentional choices are made when selecting the type of block to work with and which type of paper to print on. Each to complement the plant in its form, within its landscape.
The Garden Plants of Kenya has given birth to a series of prints which have enabled me to develop and revive my individual skill, technique and style. In doing so, I achieved the runner up award at Loughborough’s Sock Gallery Open Call 2019 exhibition with my Darling Hibiscus linocut print submission.
LSA Annual Exhibition 2019, New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester
Red Dot Art Consultancy Touring Exhibition (ongoing), Suffolk
Secret Postcard Show, The Old Lockup Gallery, Derby
Open Exhibition, Sock Gallery, Loughborough
Southbank Printmakers Gallery, London
RBSA Gallery, Birmingham
Nairobi National Museum, Nairobi, Kenya
Kind of Blue, The Polly, Falmouth