North

Lithography and Screenprint, 2018, Jane Elizabeth Bennett, August Artistic Experimentation

I feel so privileged to be mentioned in Volume 4 of ‘North’ as part of Jo Garrett’s wonderful interview on the darkroom.

North Magazine, Volume 4 featuring Jane Elizabeth Bennett and Jo Garrett
North Magazine, Volume 4 Jo Garrett’s Interview featuring Jane Elizabeth Bennett

I love the way that Jo talks about the magic of the darkroom, the physical interactions between chemistry and light, it is alchemy and I adore it. I think it is so easy to disassociate the physicality of making work from the final outcome which often ends up, framed and pristine, on a white wall.

When I’m working in the darkroom with Jo, I can relax. We often discuss the crossovers and co-dependencies of printmaking and photography. How each process informs, shapes and directs the evolution of the other, while still remaining very separate artforms.

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Experimental Darkroom

Digital Darkroom Print, black and white pixelation on photographic paper, 2018

Darkroom photography has always held a fascination for me. There is something magical about taking a photograph in one place and then summoning its appearance in another. I think it’s the closest to alchemy that I’m likely to get – but what is more exciting than following the rules of the darkroom  – is breaking the rules. I met Joanna Garrett, a specialist in ‘experimental darkroom’ in 2017 and she has had me hooked ever since.

The experimental darkroom differs from the traditional darkroom in a number of ways – mainly that it there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way of utilizing it, the aim is to find a methodology and aesthetic that work ‘for you’. Through trial, error and lots of research, we are working collaboratively as well as individually in order to develop new bodies of work.

This way of working fits with my printmaking and installation practice and the thrill of finding something that works, as well as subverting a traditional method really excites me. To read more about my experiments with softground etching click here and to see how I have worked with sensors, animation and sound click here.

Alternatively, browse of some experimental projects in this gallery.


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‘Masters’ at Artlab

Creative Letterpress with David Armes at Artlab CPS 2018, Masters

Artlab Contemporary Printmaking Studio has recently run a series of three masterclasses in Printmaking entitled ‘Masters’.

I have been looking forward to the ‘Masters’ masterclasses for some time. Anyone that knows me well will know how much I love to ‘upskill’. The ‘Masterclasses’ were a great opportunity to network with some very experienced artists and expand my own knowledge.

Bronwen Sleigh’s Two Plate Softground Masterclass

Sleigh’s research and portfolio are extensive, and her workshop was as enjoyable as it was informative. The aim of the workshop was to explore methods of drawing a composite image over two soft-ground plates and then correctly register them to print on the star wheel press.

Two Plate Etching with Bronwin Sleigh, Drawing Studio, Artlab 2018
Two Plate Etching with Bronwin Sleigh, Drawing Studio, Artlab 2018

The group prepared each plate, de-greasing and coating them with a traditional softground wax, once the plates had been prepared they were etched in copper-sulphate and cleaned in preparation for inking and printing.

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Stone Lithography

Experimental Stone Lithography, Jane Elizabeth Bennett, 2018

Upskilling with Stone Lithography

Stone Lithography is a skill that I have always wanted to obtain, but it has always seemed to be closer to witchcraft than printmaking.

I think that is part of the magic, taking a stone, drawing materials and array of chemicals, and after many hours of rubbing, flapping and mixing various chemicals a body of work will begin to form.

Jane Elizabeth Bennett, 2018 Using the Offset Press for Lithography
Jane Elizabeth Bennett, 2018 Using the Scraper Press for Stone Lithography

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Coming Soon to an Art Zoo Near You…

Art Zoo, Harris Museum, 26th May 2018

Coming Soon…. Art Zoo breaks down the barriers between artists and audiences.

Art Zoo is part performance, part installation, and part living sculpture. It is an absurdist event that will give visitors to the Harris a glimpse into an exciting and vibrant world.

Art Zoo at the Harris Museum and Gallery, Preston, 2018 in conjunction with Lubaina Himid's Hard Times Exhibition
Art Zoo at the Harris Museum and Gallery, Preston, 2018 in conjunction with Lubaina Himid’s Hard Times Exhibition

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