Welcome to Printmaker‘s Day at The Fork and Broom Press!
This year Printmaker‘s Day at The Fork and Broom Press will come in two parts:
Part 1 introduces new work and new themes online on this webspace – here&now.
Part 2 comes as an exhibition in our bespoke gallery-in-barn just next to the studio in Oppenwehe on 1 + 2 July 2023.
I hope you will enjoy the online presentation below – make a cuppa if you wish or pour yourself a glass of wine. The presentation tells of the new artist‘s book and describes what visitors can expect to encounter in the upcoming exhibition in July.
The new artist‘s book: „Quod tibi hoc alteri“
This artist‘s book is about the Golden Rule, about reciprocity among human beings. It tells of man‘s thinking bout humaneness and how man goes about humaneness in real. The book starts at 35.000 years before today, when Cro-Magnon people painted their awesome pictures onto the walls of the caves at Chauvet and Lasceaux, and follows man‘s thinking and actions chronologically into 2022 which thus becomes year zero – the year when the war against Ukraine began.
Among philosophers and writers quoted are Confucius, Seneca, Epictetus, Petrarca, Thomas Aquinas, Erasmus, Shakespeare, Galilei, Kant, Herder, and Albert Schweitzer – to name just a few.
The book is issue 5 in the series MANARAH. It is a pamphlet stich with 16 pages plus a 4-page printed coversheet, all printed letterpress in a limited edition.
Illustrations are two lino etchings by myself and illustrations printed with ornaments and brass rulers. As always in the MANARAH-series a number of typefaces is used.
The motto for the new series of art work: „Giving Diversity a Home“
In 2019 the motto „Giving Diversity a Home“ was coined for a small work containing a letterpress printed label attached to a sachet of wildflower seeds. The seeds were all collected from wildflowers growing in our own garden: cornflower, poppies, corn cockle, borage, wild carrots and many more. In 2022 there was a follow-up with a similar label plus sachet coming with pure corn cockle seeds – all homegrown, too.
Seven years ago we moved in at the old farm in Oppenwehe. The house with stables and barn is surrounded by some half hectare of land that used to be a monotonous meadow sown in with forage grass. We have had a garden before we moved here, and I went for a degree in Biology way back in the 1980s and have worked in nature conservation – so there was some practical experience and well grounded knowledge to start with. Since 2016 we work to turn the meadow into a garden that will support diversity on a permanent basis. The basic idea is that all our private gardens can form a network for many species to live in, move, reproduce and spread from. We can design and manage our gardens in a way that they become stepping stones for species. Thus the numbers of both individuals and species will grow over the years, and we will create realiable environmental structures for diversity, structures that will be here to stay.
In our first winter here (2016/17) we put out fat balls for the birds and in spring 2017 those balls had grown a layer of moss on the surface but were otherwise untouched. By now feeders get raided all year round by growing numbers of birds. And we have species coming in that have not been here in the first place.
Success came quicker than expected and we can now start sharing our experiences as we go along and what we so far have learned in changing a plot into a place for specie to thrive. And this exactly is the motivation to start the new series of art work with the motto „Giving Diversity a Home“. This will finally combine my being a printmaker artist with the first hand experience from developing our garden and my training as a Biologist plus working in nature conservation in the past.
The new series of art work will be in the form of small books and prints. It will come with portraits of species, with suggestions how to grow plants that will become home to birds and insects, with suggestions for preparing tasty meals and preserves from our harvest.
The backup for the new series is my garden blog
The special theme: lino etching in printmaking
Ever since 2006 I have been experimenting with the technique of lino etching. The idea has appealed to me early on and I used it in 2006 in the series „When there still were Gods“. It is a series of broadsheets on nine of the ancient Greek Gods. The broadsheets are mixed media and lino etching is one of the various techniques used.
The artist‘s book „Das Nusszweiglein“ (The Little Branche of a Nut Tree, a fairy tale), published in 2007, is the first book that came with lino etchings as illustrations, including a portrait of the author Ludwig Bechstein. In this case they were printed in a sepia-like shade of brown.
Among the more than 20 of my projects that come with lino etchings are „Escaping the Embers“ (broadsheet, 2014), Shakespeare‘s Sonnet 89 (broadsheet 2016), „Red Herring“(print 2018), „Schwarze Rose“ (Black Rose, print, 2008) and the two versions of Carrbridge printed in 2007 and 2008, of which the one-colour version has become part of the new MANARAH issue on reciprocity, symbolising that reciprocity throws the bridge between individuals. The new lino etching „Chevaux Chauvet“ (2023) also is part of the recent MANARAH issue, it symbolises art throwing the bridge across time and space.
The technique is fascinating in that although it is a relief print process it will create gradations in print, which otherwise can only be achieved by using hatching. Add to this it is not possible to control the process completely. Particularly the lino‘s state of aging will have effect on how the process of etching will work and what the final result will be like. In the upcoming exhibition on 1 and 2 July many of my lino etchings will be on show in our bespoke barn.
The exhibition in our gallery-in-barn will be open
on Saturday 1 July from 11 am to 7 pm
on Sunday 2 July from 11 am to 5 pm
The barn is located next to the studio. It is home to the 1952-proof press which will be ready for printing for all visitors wishing to have a go.
The exhibit will be part of the regional „Cultur Weeks“ that will run from 1 to 16 July on LAnARt-Route 5, which is the area of Stemwede-Rahden-Espelkamp. A printed programm available from Kreishaus in Minden nearer the date, and a pdf-Version will be for download on the LandArt-Webspace then, too.
Stay tuned for more news as to the exhibition in Juy!
(The BBK runs an interaktive map on its website where all activities and events related to Printmaker‘s Day can be found here )