Trace 2019: Frottage Print

‘Trace’ is a large scale black and white print- measuring 2.286×2.352 metres.

The words sacred and beloved, are integral to its interpretation: Organic in nature through the collaging process of its creation which references the mandorla, the sea and the land, its over-riding premise is one of reverence for the past, for the present and hope for the future.

Scared to the name and beloved, conjures memories of lives passed and at the same time points to, a reverence for the boundless interconnectedness of life. The framework of the mandorla suggests that by honouring life and our environment we can create a shared space for reconciliation to occur.

I was inspired by the artist Max Ernst who rubbed an ancient wooden floor, the patterns of the grain suggested strange and new. Frottage uses the initial surface, to make something new unlike a brass rubbing which reproduces the original. The aim was to create a new work by rubbing thirty existing (etching/ collagraph/ lino) plates previously made for other prints. The paper was rubbed many times on many different parts of the plates, the overlapping produced darker tones and revealed unpredictable marks which were left or added to. The uneven surfaces became the basis for further refinement.

To ‘print’ them using the technique of rubbing with lithography pencils and wax crayons, instead of ink and the pressure of the press, provided a different way of printing.
Touch and pressure was crucial to this process, decisions as to what part of each plate to extract and what to leave. Multiple layers of rubbing onto the paper, using different plates, to reveal new images; tonal variations and textures revealed new visual possibilities. Responding to what was revealed on my old plates was unpredictable, freeing and exciting.