In August this year I put on a joint show with James Brown entitled Press & Pull. When I say ‘show’ it was meant in an informal way … it was two people who work with traditional printmaking techniques exhibiting what we like doing most. Free from commercial constraints and client prerequisites, I wanted to concentrate on just printing, to see where it took me.
From years of freelancing I have accrued and been influenced by a large collection of images and photographs and experimented with many mark-making techniques. From this gained knowledge I felt compelled to create something intuitive and personal – just for the sake of it.
Starting the project was tricky, but from playing, drawing on favourite techniques and a process of elimination things began to happen. Colour and pattern have always formed a big part of my work and inspiration and once again took the lead in helping to shape my ideas. As the prints built up, I was able to make decisions such as whether to contrast the last with the next or accompany it with similar pattern but fresh colour, for example.
I allowed myself one month to produce the collection of silkscreens that made Press & Pull. Each print shown in Monograph is a one-off piece, the result of these experimentations. Multi-layered and over printed, the outcome is often a far cry from the initial screens. I feel I lost a few pieces along the way, although physically they are under there somewhere.
The whole process reminded me and confirmed to me why it is that I do what I do. Currently, I’m still enjoying just printing, continuing with these ideas and once again allowing them to see where they may take me.
I find it hard to give myself a title as such. If I had to, I think silkscreen artist explains what I do. The kind of silkscreen printing I’m inspired by relies on chance, hiccups and accidents to provide the individual qualities that make up each piece.
My background in printed textiles gave me an inherent love of colour and pattern which provides the basis for the majority of my work. Commercially I’m probably best known for my music-related sleeve artwork, most notably for a longstanding relationship with The Chemical Brothers. Non-commercially I simply love the silkscreen process and never seem to tire of it. Work is play to me for the majority of my time, the rest is a great way to make a living.