Posts Tagged ‘ birds ’

Making Records For Woodcuts (Or The Other Way Around)

I’ve got to say it is both fun and a lot of pressure doing artwork for albums or singles or any music to be released. Trying to match the sounds to images and translate other people’s thoughts on the music they have made is not always a seemless process. Luckily for me, my latest project has been my own. By that I mean I’ve been calling the shots which has made the final outcome that much more important to me.

The back story is late last year, one of my closest friends and I made some music together of which I thought it was good and decided to make it something more than just a few jams in a room. From there I got more friends to help me extract what I heard in my head and even went so far as to learn a new instrument (the musical saw no less). Now I am happy to be in possession of the 10-inch record below. It’s a little country, a little heavy and kinda weird but I dig it!

10inch-1

Now that might have next to nothing to do with printmaking or woodcuts. But you see, I get no greater pleasure than when I’m creating something out of nothing. Playing drums, playing instruments that belong in a hardware store, carving a woodblock or making a book – when you step back and look at what you’ve made, it’s pretty cool.

So apart from the 100 copies of the record that I hope to eventually send out into the world, I decided to spend the last few days making a single copy of the record that had all my creative loves fused into one artifact. I am really proud of what I finished off today, to me it’s an artist book, it’s a record, it’s some of my best woodcuts to date and as someone who also likes collecting records, it’s the most deluxe release I could come up with (with some ink, paper, tape and scissors).

It is hardcover and adorned with four original woodcuts and I’ve even put the test-pressing of the record in there. This one-off creation will be on show (and available) at my exhibition opening on the 23rd May (see the invite below) even though I really would like to keep this one for myself!

Front and back cover

10inch-6 Inside gatefold10inch-5 Back cover10inch-4

Front Cover10inch-3 Inside 10inch-2

My Year In Woodcuts

This was 2012…

January

Draw

Draw

El Corazon

El Corazon

El Nopal

El Nopal

LVC

Lee Van Cleef

February

Eye_Block

Eye Spy

April

skateboard-1

skateboard-2

Sk8 Or Die (I Used To Skate Once 7)

May

guitar

Guitar Print Framed

Giant Sounds (Woodcuts from a guitar)

July

Thanatos-1

Thanatos Pt.1

Thanatos-2

Thanatos Pt.2

Thanatos-3

Thanatos Pt.3

Arrow

Salute #3

August

HumanWarhead_Print

Human Warhead

September

Tall Ship 2012 AP

Tall Ship (Mk.3)

October

Web_TP

A Spiders Home

November

SLW Test print

Do Something – Sol Le Witt

Music Box

Music Box

December

Currawong 2012

Currawong

Balancing Act

Balancing Act (detail)

WalkMeIntoOblivion(Gira AP)

Walk Me Into Oblivion ( A Tribute To Michael Gira)

And some of them even made it here: ETSY SHOP

…here’s to 2013!

Where Do They Come From?

These are the initial proofs for a series of woodcuts I’ve recently finished – a series that I’ve titled ‘Thanatos’. Three images that I thought came from the same place. I’ve spent more time than usual labouring over these woodcuts, not because they were difficult or easy or created for a specific outcome but due to the way they came to be and why they came, left and came back in disguise…

Sometime ago, I awoke from a very vivid dream, one that had a linear narrative to it and it left a series of specific images in my mind. I then went on to visualise parts of that dream into the woodcuts you see here. As you might be aware, many hours go into making a woodcut and I spent a considerable number of days working on these three images, watching them appear and take shape. The thing that struck me as I worked away was that while they were inspired by one nights brain activity they actually came about much earlier than that…

Part 1.

Recently I adorned a skateboard with a woodcut of two birds. Birds are a favourite of mine when it comes to subject matter for woodcuts. I also listen to a lot of classical music when I carve, two bands in particular being Godspeed You! Black Emperor and A Silver Mt.Zion. As I carved away at this image which was a distinct part of the aforementioned dream – I came to realise I was already familiar with this scene finding a parallel visual narrative inside the sleeve of a Silver Mt.Zion album. Thankfully I like to think I’ve taken my own slant and made it my own.

Part 2.

The final part of that skateboard I mentioned was a single bird feather. I’ve had a different design project going on for the last few months that I’ve put hundreds of hours into and early on I had wanted to incorporate this symbolic use of feathers but I couldn’t make it work so I ditched the idea and went with something else. However fast forward two months later and here is that design image I was searching for. It also looks like I might still be able to put it into my other project. Maybe it was that thing of walking away from an idea to find it.

Part 3.

This lady was the protagonist in the dream, I still don’t know where she came from, I don’t automatically recognise her. Maybe I will at a later date. Still she is the third part of that dream narrative about death, how you define those around you that you love and how you prioritise who and what you love.

I don’t spend much time thinking about inspiration when it comes to what I carve but I have found this a curious series of events where these images have changed their meanings. It is nice to know that while my conscious brain might not know what it’s doing and why, my unconscious brain seems to know exactly what’s going on and is not afraid to tell me.

This Book Belongs To…

If I told you that I’d been really slack of late, I’d only be half lying. Really slack at blogging (as I was informed of today) but truth be known I have completed at least eight woodcuts over the last few months and that’s not slack in my world.

I’d love to show you everything that’s been under the knife but quite a few of the pieces I have been working on have been illustrations on commission so I will have to wait to give you the run down. Still there have been a numerous projects going on simultaneously and some have been completed.

Months ago a friend of E. asked if I could make some bookplates for her little girl and her much loved and growing book collection. I made a start sometime ago but only finished them off a few days ago.

Now the tradition of book plates (or Ex-Libris as it’s also known) has a long and beautiful history. Recently the British Museum released a book Ex-Libris: The Art Of Bookplates which showed just how detailed and beautiful this tiny art medium can be. Mine were a really good test at carving out a block that small (around 10cm) as opposed to my usual 30-40cm blocks. I pretty happy with how they turned out. I’m hoping that the little lady who is recieving them also enjoys inscribing her name upon them.

So that’s one project. Soon I’ll show you a print I’ve done for one of my favourite Australian bands. A t-shirt I’ve done for one of my favourite local bands and my favourite recent woodcut which has turned out to be art imitating life imitating art.

Also I am part of a group exhibition in December. More on that in my next update.

What would you do?

With one year’s worth of woodblock shavings?

Most people would sweep them up and dispose of them into the dustbin. If we were birds however, we’d take them and build a home!

My bestest friend, E makes the most awesome (and practical) stuff with textiles. She embroiders art and goes off on whatever creative tangent she thinks of. She loves vintage fabrics and bark cloth and has a wardrobe filled with great clothes she’s made herself. You should go check her out as Touch Wood Design

Well, I’ve taken the small dustbin with a year’s worth of woodblock chips and built a massive nest/home for two of her handmade birds to live in. This is one of them. I think it’s the boy one (I’m not sure though).

They’ll be tending to their nest at Nine Lives on Friday.

Birdsnest_blog

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