This year we had the honour of being part of this years re international original print exhibition.
We were lucky enough to award our prize ‘Ironbridge fine arts printmaker prize ’to’ fiona foughy’ for her wonderful monotype ‘Quiver’. Fiona won one our beautiful large spindle rollers.
Fiona Fouhy’s practice covers broad themes of place, geology and history, celebrating the resilience of nature over millennia.
Fouhy predominantly uses monotype techniques in her work using etching inks, extender, rags and large rollers to create fast, expressive images; processes, materials and chance inform and evolve her practice. She has developed a technique of layering ink, pushing the early ‘ghost’ layers into the background, creating a strong depth of field.
Using monoprinting, Fouhy explores how to work by intuition and emotional reaction to the forest environment. For her, the forest experience symbolises states of lostness, bewilderment and fragility in the face of the unknown. Simultaneously the forest is a place of healing both for the individual and for the planet; a fertile place for the imagination.
Fouhy studied at Central Saint Martins, London. She has won the RK Burt Award (2018) and the Thamesside Print Studio Prize (2017) at the International Original Print Exhibition as well as the Printmakers Council Award (2016) at the Festival of Print.
She is a keyholder and tutor at East London Printmakers studio. Her work is held in private and public collections throughout the UK, Europe and USA including the V&A Museum and the Central St Martins College Contemporary Collection. Her work is for sale through Eames Fine Art Gallery.
Quiver is a monotype on Arches cream etching paper (76 x 56cm). The Irongbridge Award of a large relief roller is perfectly suited to me because Quiver was made with many different size rollers, culminating in a layer of extended ink using a very large roller. The circumference of the roller needs to be at least the length of the paper, if not longer, to enable a smooth roll-out of ink, with no lines visible where the ink might ‘run out’. The extended ink layer is always the trickiest part of my printing process. It can make or break the image. As with a lot of printmaking, there have been a lot of dud prints along the way! I have had to work out the exact consistency and thickness of ink. But the result can be magical when it works! I find that it somehow ‘holds’ the other layers together. I discovered it by accident when I was making a gift for my son a few years ago. He wanted me to make him a monoprint of a white wolf, so I decided it needed to be situated in a dark forest and I loved the emotive feeling of the results.
The piece, Quiver, is so named because of the sensation of quietness in a forest, where the only movements are small quivers of the leaves in a breeze. There is a stillness present and so the slightest shift is noticeable. The viewer, themselves, is sometimes the only thing that is moving as they walk past the standing trees.
Jenny Gunning who chose our award winner said “Fiona’s work captured the Atmosphere and movement caught in the woodlands, it’s as if you felt like you were immersed into the print. The print itself holds an exceptional tonal quality, a talented printmaker!”
As a team of printmakers ourselves the exhibition featured the work of two of our team members Jenny Gunning with the piece ‘The Aga Factory, Broken’ and Dave Mason-Gunning with the piece ‘Cliff Crevasse on the Peninsula, St Davids.’
Using her drawing skills Jenny works out in the landscape to capture the detail she needs to create her plates. Jenny’s love is for the old and used, old buildings that have been taken over by the landscape and abandoned, left to decay over the years of neglect… Jenny also loves strong structures which lend themselves to printmaking techniques, strong tones and/or colour. Jenny loves aquatint etchings and she particularity enjoys making large scale work, however Jenny specialises in many other forms of printmaking including photopolymer, spit-bite, mezzotint, dry-point, lino, reduction, straight lino, straight woodblock, Japanese woodblock, reduction woodblock, collagraph and letterpress.
Dave has always enjoyed drawing and spent many days as a boy drawing from inspirations such as magazine and books. After travelling around the world, Dave decided that it was time to create they bought their first DSLR camera to capture the world and they have been captivated by the way a camera could manipulate to create startling images from the buildings and landscapes surrounding them. After a chance encounter with Jenny Gunning, Dave’s passion for the arts was stoked even further seeing what Jenny and her family were creating. They immersed into learning printmaking. Becoming a skilled printmaker under their tuition and has developed further skills in photographic printmaking and Mokuhanga.
We were delighted to be a part of this year’s exhibition and look forward to next year’s exhibition. The RE exhibition is chance for us to spot the talent of many other printmakers as well as spotting what our gunning press customers have been up to.
If you have read to the bottom of this blog you are entitled to a free gift, please email Jenny@IronbridgefineArts.co.uk with your preferred printing Relief or Intaglio to claim. Postage of £6.99 will still apply.