Previous AA2A Artist

John Morrison

Project summary:

The chance to develop my practice on the AA2A scheme was an excellent opportunity for me. I found out about the scheme through using the Printmaking facilities UCLan provides for the ArtLab workshop and this has enabled me develop a large body of work this year by having more extensive access to the studios.

My current practice is an exploration of transience and impermanence in the natural landscape. I am interested the theory of entropy and have based my research on detailed observations of the erosion and mutability of the landscape by documenting fractured rocks, sea caves, broken ice and weathered stone. Using a variety of intaglio and relief printmaking techniques I have sought to capture the richly textured surface of the land. I have tried to avoid topographic or illustrative representations in order to study the essence and sense of a particular space.

Printmaking with its insistence upon layering and time consuming processes, resonates with the layering and excavation of the land I am exploring, and I have found that the new processes I have used in print have stimulated and created interesting dialogues with my drawings and paintings. I have spent most of my time focussing on relief and intaglio collagraphs that are created by building up deep surfaces using plaster, grout, carborundum and various texture gels. This gives me the surface that I can then excavate, sand and engrave using a wide variety of power tools to create the finely wrought textures that are suggestive of the organic and inorganic forms of nature.

Having trained in Fine Art as a painter I have relished this chance on the scheme to devote my time to printmaking and explore a whole range of the non-toxic printmaking methods, which have been developed so extensively by the staff here at Preston. I have been given tremendous technical advice, support and encouragement by the staff and have thoroughly enjoyed working with the students and fellow AA2A artists in print studios.

The scheme has led to several exhibition opportunities including ‘Triple Echo’, a travelling print exhibition for staff and students of three universities in the North West, a group show at the PAD gallery in Preston, and a planned exhibition for all the current AA2A artists in the PR1 gallery at the University in September this year.

The scheme has stimulated me to produce a large body of new work, has caused me to rethink my working practice and provided me with excellent technical support to achieve my objectives. I would recommend this scheme to any artist as a great vehicle for developing their work

''Ink Stone''
Collagraph on Somerset paper