Eight Days A Week 2006: Graphic Authorship and Injured Text.
Victoria Building Gallery, PR1, University of Central
Printmaking Exhibition, selected work from the two Residency
Projects at Liverpool School of Art and Design organised by Neil Morris,
Head of Printmaking as part of the on going Liverpool and Cologne
Project, 'Eight Days a Week'. The exhibition curated by Neil Morris
& Pete Clarke will include artists from Cologne, The Graphik Werkstatt
in Cologne and well known artists and designers making contemporary
prints, including collographs, screen printing, relief, intaglio and
etching and digital prints.
Graphic Authorship – Artists in Print
There is a new breed of graphic designer; they challenge the conventional view that their work is a neutral conduit, a noise free transmission of a message determined by their client. The Graphic Authorship project sought to provide a showcase for a group of graphic designers of international standing alongside staff from the department of Graphic Arts at Liverpool School of Art and Design, to explore the notion of authorship outside of any commercial constraints by bringing their own content and personal themes to a body of work produced in the print studios.
Printmaking should not sit within an Art and Design hierarchy, it is not subordinate to painting, drawing or sculpture but is simply an alternative medium for expression. The printed mark is always bold and requires a brave hand with no allowance for hesitancy – the reward for this is very often a graphic work of deep resonance. The designers involved in this project have all understood this facet of the process completely and have displayed their confidence and versatility, learning new working methods, encouraging experimentation and enjoying the inevitable mistakes!
Injured Text, a Common Language?
In recent years there has been a revival of painting as an autonomous object of research intended as an identification of a personal visual code. This has resulted in the viewer having to become increasingly sophisticated and active in making connections between the artists’ vision and the images which make up their iconography. Of course all looking like reading, involves a sequential constructive process that happens over a period of time and is dependent in some part on an assumed understanding of the viewer/reader by the artist/author. What is it then that helps to form an artist’s visual code and reflect their logic and instincts, thereby making this ‘reading’ possible?
Perhaps it is a personal system of reference for both the real and the imaginary, which helps to form a store of memory derived from their perceptions of reality, thereby allowing them to select and develop images which become symbols to describe and express the themes that interest them. The result is usually a distinct and recognisable vocabulary of shapes and forms, a signature which become a vehicle for meditation on time, space, incident and form.
(Pete Clarke work viewed by MA student)
How then does this vocabulary differ from artist to artist, practitioner to practitioner ? In what ways are they the same or how and why do they differ? It has been the intention of this project to provide a platform for a diverse group of art and design practitioners to explore these notions of commonality and difference, authorship and readership, through the unifying media and graphic possibilities of printmaking. How will dealing with working processes often more to do with instinct than calculation, multiplicity rather than singularity and the embedded and inherent necessity for collaborative practice within printmaking influence their personal vocabulary? The chosen artists were invited to be resident in the print studios of Liverpool School of Art and Design for a period of one week each and respond to the theme ‘Injured Text, a Common Language?’ in the working atmosphere of a collaborative and distinctly none linear studio.
Since the year 2000 the Collaborative Printmaking Centre at Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool School of Art, has been host to more than twenty printmakers in residence. It has helped to establish international exchange programmes and symposia provide a resource of excellence for the regional community of artist/printmakers and been responsible for curating many exhibitions. What all of these initiatives have in common is our desire to stress the importance of projects that foster intellectual and cultural exchange between individuals, institutions and countries.
We have displayed our research findings at a variety of international forums including the Liverpool International Biennial of Contemporary Art, 2002/2004, the International Festival Eight Days a Week: Liverpool/Cologne a Cultural Exchange, 1998 -2005, the International Printmaking Conference Impact 4, Berlin/Poznan, 2005 and numerous refereed publications including ‘Graphic Authorship – Artists in Print’ isbn 0-9542326-4-X and ‘Von Zufalligen Linien und Rottlichen Flecken’ isbn 0-9547306-1-5.
Neil Morris, February 2006.
Website Design: Tony Knox