Work in progress

I’ve reached an exciting stage of constructing my artist’s book from the printed pages. It’s  a process which requires dexterity and patience – assembling the pages with delicate hinges made from japanese paper and starch paste. No I’m not ironing the book – I’m using the iron as a weight.

Shakespeare series

portia oneThe Idea

2016 commemorates 400 years since the death of Shakespeare giving rise to a whole host of special exhibitions and events throughout the country. The Bankside Gallery will be showing an exhibition of Shakespeare inspired prints in June made by members of the RE, (the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers).

This subject appeals to me and I  decided at the beginning of the year to make a series of prints using deaf actors or models performing extracts of Shakespeare roles.

My first model was Phyllisha Johnson, a partially hearing lady who takes part in church worship, sometimes using BSL and SignDance. I asked Phyllisha to sign one of Portia’s speeches from the Merchant of Venice. Portia assumes the role of a lawyer’s apprentice to deliver this speech and dresses accordingly.

“The quality of mercy is not strain’d, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath; it is twice blest, It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes………’

I hired a tudor woman’s costume to photograph, to add to the image, to represent Portia’s hidden identity. I’ve had fun arranging the costume in various ways……..

and trying various ideas for incorporating all the different elements…………portia backdrop with Felicia with drawing

portia backdrop

Shifting Subjects Conference

IMG_3135

A Shifting Subjects conference took place in Leeds on the 20th October. I joined the audience to listen to speakers Wendy Elia on Self Portraiture by women from the Renaissance to the present; Dr. Alison Rowley, of the University of Huddersfield, on Four Portraits of Sarah Lucas as an Artist and Poppy Bowers, curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, on Sarah Lucas: Situation Absolute Beach Man Rubble. I feel privileged to be showing work alongside Wendy Elia, Sarah Lucas, Linda Ingham and Miranda Whall in the Shifting Subjects Exhibition, which is drawing to a close on Saturday.  There are plans to bring the show to London early next year which is exciting news!

one month to go to the launch of Shifting Subjects!

0e722ddc-8974-42ea-9842-ec9dd727b5db

Shifting Subjects
Contemporary Women Telling the self through the Visual Arts
3rd September – 31st October
Sarah Lucas | Miranda Whall | Wendy Elia
Margaret Ashman | Linda Ingham

The exhibition opens on the 2nd September at the Abbey Walk Gallery

A completed set of prints has gone to be professionally dry mounted for display in the exhibition. The film has been sent off too.  Art writer Anna McNay has written a brilliant essay for the catalogue and interviewed the artists for a catalogue Q&A piece.

more plates at the proofing stage

IMG_2644 (1)IMG_2650IMG_2651 I have been enjoying working on the last two plates for the exhibition. I’ve been a bit more experimental. I had fun overlaying one image with lace. It seems to add privacy, mystery, femininity and does wonders for less than youthful skin all in one go. I think I will try this plate with lighter coloured inks too. It works in black but it may work better in a pastel shade.

Film Completed

Professional musician Hannah Ashman (who happens to be my daughter) has composed and recorded a piano composition for the soundtrack of the film. The piano is one of Hannah’s main instruments and so it was a natural choice for her. It also ties in well visually with the film as there is a rather beautiful grandpiano a corner of the dance studio where the filming took place.Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 10.54.48Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 10.53.14