Colour Study
Argentière Glacier, Mont-Blanc Massif, French Alps, May 2008 – February 2010

Introduction

Living in the valley with a clear view of the glacier provided a constant reminder of its beauty, scale and light. I thought perhaps its presence would become familiar, but, for me its complexity grew. I was continually amazed, energized and awed by the sight of its blue mass resting above the treeline. Being in the French Alps for an extended period gave me a deep appreciation for the Argentière Glacier and the mountain landscape that provides its context.

During this time, conceptual ideas about colour developed alongside daily observations of nature. The work investigates a range of ideas about colour and its relationship to form – printmaking facilitates the sequential construct of the work and provides a rich medium to explore ideas of layering, process and structure.

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Observation & interpretation


View: Argentière Glacier

This single observation point provided the visual reference, focus and inspiration for the Glacial Blue colour study.

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Colour Research: glacial ice

Working directly from the landscape a range of sample swatches and colour tests were made. This research material was used to inform Glacial Blue: Series One (screenprints that build depth through semi-transparent coloured tints and overlays).

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Glacial Blue: series one

These intricately layered and delicately coloured screenprints were made whilst artist in residence at East London Printmakers. The works reference an in-depth colour study inspired by daily observations of the Argentière Glacier.

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Artist Residency: East London Printmakers

Residency Proposal

1+1=3

The denser glacial ice is, the bluer it appears. Inspired by this fact I am planning a series of screenprints that build colour density through the layering of ink on paper. I apply processes and configurations perceived in nature to the activity of making prints – this methodology generates new ways to think about the printmaking process. Initially systematic in construction the print subsequently develops its own dynamic form.

Research / Field Study

I have been working directly from the landscape to produce a comprehensive range (over 120 to date) of small-scale colour tests and sample swatches. This preparatory work is now being developed into a series of intricate larger-scale prints.

Key ideas and concepts that will be explored in the prints:

  • ink as strata – suspended colour within the layers of a print
  • three-dimensional colour – building depth, intensity and mass
  • using the screenprinting process to create sculptural forms on a surface

The project requires some focused time in a professional printmaking studio as it involves intricate registration work and a complex system of multilayered stencils. This work forms part of colour research undertaken within a major study of glaciers, snow and ice.

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Works

During the residency, I made a series of intricately layered and delicately coloured screenprints in three glacial blues.

Intensity 1–4
Printed layers are built sequentially from solid translucent colour.

Density 1–6
Printed layers are built sequentially using six variations of a translucent colour mass.

Construction I, II, III
Printed layers are built sequentially using six variations and scales of a translucent colour mass. Each construction is made from the same modular units – the focus of the colour shifts within the form of each.

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Field Work


View: Glacier d’Argentière
May 2008 – February 2010, viewed from Argentière 1252m

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