Sunday, 3 August 2014

Mentoring

Screen Printed Saws

Last month Tullie House and Prism Arts offered a commission opportunity for an outsider artist to respond to the work of Richard Slee (who currently has a major exhibition at Tullie House.) I thought that one of the people I support up at The Heathlands Project would be interested in this opportunity and that his work would fit the brief very well. When I spoke to him about it he was very keen and began working on some ideas.

Drawings from the exhibition

Getting ready to print

The first colour

Unfortunately he didn't get the commission, however, the selection panel (which included Richard Slee as well as representatives from Tullie House and Prism Arts) really liked his work and Prism Arts decided to offer him a small grant. The grant included some mentoring time from a Prism Arts artist (in this case me) as well as some money towards materials. The work that comes from the mentoring will form part of the C-Art exhibition in the Prism Arts studios in September.

Two colours done

Screen print on fabric

So, for the past couple of weeks I have been working with this artist to help him further develop his skills and ideas and work towards a finished piece of work. He had already expressed an interest in screen printing so that was one of the main areas for us to explore and also the use of stitch.

Adding stitch

Screen print with stitching

We began by visiting the Richard Slee exhibition to get some inspiration and do some drawings. We then used these drawings to create stencils. These stencils were then used to create a screen print. As his design involved three colours he made three separate stencils. His style is very bold and graphic so screen printing is a great way to show this off.

Saw detail

Saw detail

At the start of the second session I asked him whether he wanted to do more screen printing or to work into the prints from the first session. After a discussion about pop art and working in multiples he decided he wanted to work into the prints from last week. So, we spent the day looking at embellishing the work with stitch. Using small running stitches to outline his designs is a technique he has employed before and I think it is very successful here. Although it is simple it is very well done and adds a delicate, hand made element to the otherwise quite harsh lines of the print and subject matter. This also fits well with the playful approach of Richard Slee.

I am looking forward to seeing how he chooses to finish the piece. We discussed several options but he has chosen to take his time and consider it before reaching  his decision. Hopefully it has been a beneficial experience for him and enabled him to explore a new technique and have time to develop a piece of work. It has been very rewarding for me being able to see how the work has developed from idea to almost completed and to have been able to help by giving some guidance and technical assistance.

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