|  S T U D I O   R E F L E C T I O N S

November 2020

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I dance with the stone, a rhythmic corporeal movement as the levigator glides over the surface – smoothing, while simultaneously erasing the memory of the greasy marks once held within the matrix. I feel grounded and at home, but there is nervous anticipation too - the pale opulent limestone surface sits waiting. I begin to draw, the crayon becoming an extension of my body, flirting with the stone’s surface – an intimate exchange – as the imagined trace is realised as a collection of lines. I become aware of the negative spaces that punctuate the greasy marks – a moment to pause and contemplate. Dark watery pools of tusche wash, worked by the tip of a brush, slowly dry and transform, leaving behind the residue of sedimental reticulations. When I print there is a sensual interplay between material, process, and form. My hand is well attuned to the feel of different drawing materials – from the ease with which a soft crayon lays down greasy pigment, to the varying quality and fine detail of line and trace afforded by a hard-tipped crayon. There is an exchange – I work intuitively, listening and responding to the stone, while the image slowly appears as a collection of marks. I process the stone; gently massaging the etch into the matrix, willing the chemistry to take hold, memorialising the artist’s hand – my hand. I wash-out the stone, the marks becoming ghostly traces, only to re-emerge as the inky roller passes over the surface of the matrix – a rich gamut of tones appearing. The stone is ready, the press is set, the ink is mixed, my paper sits crisp and clean, longing for its surface to be embraced by the melody of inky notes. I am ready to begin printing – a sense of calm and familiarity in the meditative ritual ensues. The water from my printing sponge hits the surface of the stone, shrinking away from the greasy marks, and laying in a thin film on the unmarked areas. My whole body responds as I pass the roller over the stone – a fluid movement with a rhythm all of its own. The stone and her chemistry is always moving, a transience requiring constant awareness and contemplation of what is needed to maintain the fine equilibrium. The process is full of intuitive tactility, satisfying both my visual and haptic senses – an almost subconscious feeling of being one with the material and the process. A relationship is forged between myself and the stone - a dialect shared and translated into a visual language, awaiting interpretation. As the image becomes rich and full, I place the paper carefully on the stone and run it through the press. In anticipation I reveal the print, a reversed image, an inky articulation of my own entanglement with place and environment. I wet the stone again and pass the roller, getting lost in the poetry of repetition.