Portfolio 2018

From the Edge of Nightmare

The eight months February to September 2018 when I worked on this course  was a time of confusion, stress and transition in my life. My final portfolio selection focuses on the personal journey I took  – both my personal journey and my journey in terms of technique and style. Many of the prints are ‘dark’. Some deal with emotions, gender angst and family relationships – sometimes self-indulgent and melodramatic. Others are concerned with oppression and dystopian fears.  (For conceptual and technical details of each image and reasons for selection please click on the image to bring up its attachment page.)

In putting the portfolio together I began to see how cathartic my artistic journey through the course has been.  I omitted some earlier landscape and abstract prints that were possibly better technically and were brighter, but often did not have ‘meaning’ and so were not part of my subjective narrative. My journey really started to take shape with the soul-searching of the ‘Self Image Reflected’ portraits in July 2018 (1 July 2018 and 2 Guitar) and my artistic expression of anger against oppression and gender stereotypes (3 Speak No Evil and 4 Fury). 5 Mushrooms was a print from semi-serious musings about family relationships – not just my own – and how narratives can be interpreted from ‘Not so Still LIves’.

In the next 4 images are multi-layered, exploring the potential of collage and combination printing to juxtapose meanings and in the process create new ones. In 9 Grand Arcade Revisited I decided to stay with one image, collaging different flashes of memory, colouring and playing with happy as well as painful images to see where they might lead me. 7 Fall from Arcadia and 8 Age of Ice use geometry and textures to create imaginary dystopian narratives  in the stifling summer of 2018 that gave me serious breathing problems. 9 Edge of Nightmare brings these fears together – trying to keep nightmare away huddled behind a fragile screen of whitewashed recycling.

My printmaking process is rarely tidy and linear – except in etching or linocut editions and some collagraphs. I enjoy an element of unpredictability, where I can lose myself in the mark-making and inking, making decisions as I go along. I often find new sub-conscious meanings in the final print, learning from rather than controlling the image. The final print (10 One Mouth Kissing) started as an internal exploration of loneliness – what it felt like to be one mouth kissing. But the rather gushing image that came out from the plate I now see as one of determination to seek and give love, fighting – even if I feel at times alone – against rumour and darkness of a very uncertain world. Equally importantly it helped me to rediscover a sense of humour!

This blog complements the drawings, design and discussion notes in my Sketchlogs submitted for assessment as part of a degree in Visual Communications. See also:

For my other work in art, illustration, photography and design

See: Zemni Images website

and further background information see:

Zemni Images blog

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