Screen-printing proved to be an appropriate medium for experiments in representing space, geometry and architectonic forms. Using photographs, often of buildings or architectural features, I extract the essential form of the image and create the stencils for each area of colour.
Adding a layer of colour on top of previous layers ensures there is a relationship between the colours. Warm ochres for illuminated facets contrast with the purples of shadowed areas.
Having looked at some of Franco Fontana’s sea and landscapes, I started a series of small screen prints of buildings, seaside views and a window.
The focus was on the forms of my original black and white photographs rather than recognisable details.
Doors in odd places attracted my attention at a theatre and Russian cultural centre. A small door was at floor level and a larger one halfway up a wall with the third under a staircase. It was difficult to imagine what their purpose was and what they concealed. The images were screen-printed on plywood to retain the three-dimensional qualities of the originals.
In Glasgow I took a series of photographs of the interior of the new School of Art.
The intention was to emphasise the dialogue between abstraction and representation as in this screen print of a staircase.
The two images below resulted from an image of a window taken at the Glasgow School of Art.
After noticing the light vents in the gallery ceiling at Camden Arts Centre while visiting an exhibition, the metallic look was retained by printing on square aluminium tiles.
Once printed, the tiles could be placed in different orientations it could appear to be a vent in the ceiling, the wall or the floor.
During a residency at Blyth Gallery, Imperial College, London I overcame the lack of natural light by making and installing some ‘windows’.
The design of external windows from surrounding buildings were used as a reference with shades of blue screen printed onto three aluminium panels and framed.
The completed windows were placed close to the ceiling to give the impression of a sliver of light coming into the gallery.
'Under the Bridge'
This piece is the result of photographing a railway bridge in Camden Town.
Sunlight flooding through the railway sleepers casts stripes of light onto the road resembling a zebra crossing.
Blue sky was visible through other sleepers.
As well as prints on paper, I wanted to represent this as a 3D piece, screen-printing three separate sections of plywood.
The upper and lower sections are angled away from the wall to exaggerate the illusion of distance.
This piece was inspired by a memory from childhood.
I was always put to bed ridiculously early so had an hour or so before sleep came. In the summer I could listen to the sounds outside, my mother working in the garden, dogs barking, people talking. But in the winter I relied on our old dog to keep me company. He slept on my bed and shook and trembled all night, a relic from night bombing raids.
The bedroom door was left partly opened so that a slice of light came into my room. The other source of light was from the cars going past. Headlights from one approaching from the right would illuminate the wall to the left of the window and I would watch it sweep across the ceiling.
Reducing three-dimensional spaces to two dimensions by photographing them enables the identification of key details from the photographic images that can be created in materials such as card, aluminium and steel.
Light and shade falling on a series of steps allowed for an exaggeration of the architectural elements.