Caroline is a printmaker based in Bristol. She is a member of Spike Print Studio at Spike Island.
For the Hybrid Colour 2023 Exhibition I began by exploring the notion of flight in both relief print and collagraph, working in greys. This led to three further prints on the human/ animal relationship. Finally, I became fascinated by the shape of a jar with a lid which was given to me by an old friend. During the last coronavirus lockdown I began to paint it, attracted to its form and image of containment.
During the lockdowns we all had to draw on inner resources. Consciously I thought that I was exploring grief for friends and colleagues at this time. Then while making the woodcuts I was thinking about a slogan from Greenpeace, "Protect what you love". While exploring grief I was also exploring life, precious life under threat from climate change, particularly man's threat to the natural world. The jars are partly a celebration of the natural world. Making them has brought a sense of renewal and investment in life. Deeper than this is the fragility of the eco systems and the threat that they are under.
I have become interested in 'slow making' that is, repetitions that allow meditative thought while working. Words come to mind while printing and I have formed these into poems to accompany the Jar series. Alongside the prints I have been working with the traditional women's work of patchwork quilt making. I started a quilt in 1973 and began work on it again during the first lockdown. This work has led me to think more of mending and repairing, and experimenting on this with prints that are less than perfect or have been damaged, inspired by Celia Pym’s ‘visible mending’.
Making woodcuts is the oldest printing method. I am drawn to the slow process that woodcut production involves when working with several colours letting the next stage of any one block take shape in my mind. I am drawn to the physicality of the whole process, starting with watercolours, using tools and knives, the smell of paint and ink. You cannot go back with the reduction process; any 'mistake' has to be worked with and at the end you are free to start a new print as you cannot ever print it again.
Caroline is a retired art psychotherapist and child psychotherapist and is a writer about art therapy. Her publications are listed on her website.