Space. Positive space. Negative space. Line. Repetition. Pattern. Outwards. Inwards. Drawing. Painting. Carving. Stenciling. Collaborating. Trial and Error. Repeating. Layering. Redoing. Framing. Remaking. Producing. Containing. Time. Shape. Form. Subtract. Add. Re-contextualise. Remove. Roll. Reveal. Redo.

screen print 2.jpg

“Socially engaged art practice plays a vital role in our understanding of the diverse human experience”
- Kim Hyungsook

Image courtesy: Sally Esse

Image courtesy: Sally Esse

Image courtesy: Sally Esse

Image courtesy: Sally Esse

Workshop 1 - Responding to site, cite, sight: silk and sight

Screen printing

  • Screen printing with paper stencils

  • Using shape to consider reflections and reflective emotions.

  • How can we use art for socially engaged practice?

  • Understanding others through visual art

    (sourced from Alex Trevison’s and Catherine De Sousa’s lesson plan)

  • Began in small groups by creating our own paper shapes and combining them to create one stencil

  • After we made our first print, we were then able to move around the room, printing on top of it, using other groups stencils.

Collaboration is integral to art education. Collaborating through screen printing meant that we were all able to contribute a piece of ourselves through form / abstract shapes. We were then able to bring these disparate forms together, finding ways to unite them. What is unique about collaborating through the act of screen printing, is that we could then extend the collaboration to a whole class level, where we used the same stencils and colours but arranged them in our own unique ways

Image courtesy: Sally Esse

Image courtesy: Sally Esse

Workshop 2 - Dry-point etching

This workshop required us to:

  1. Choose a contemporary issue.

  2. Bring in four words and four symbols to match the chosen theme.

  3. Exchange words and symbols with a peer

  4. Create an abstract drawing in response to peer’s symbols and/or words

  5. Etch drawing onto acetate. Print

  6. Combine all prints to create a ‘protest wall.’

    I received a series of symbols and words in relation to sustainability. My response was prompted by an image of a storm cloud.

    Etching, like any form of printmaking, allows us to reproduce our artwork, presenting in various contexts, and in different formats. We can adapt, abstract, and manipulate a work without altering its original form, thus allowing scope for experimentation. When teaching printmaking to students, I will take advantage of this, as experimentation, trial, and error are key to a successful art practice.

Image courtesy: Elizabeth Nolan

Image courtesy: Elizabeth Nolan

Workshop 3 - Lino Printing

Responding to site, cite, sight: negative space as sight

Lino printing - THE tool to teach students about positive and negative space. For this reason, I believe that print making should sit an a Year 7 level before students move onto any other form of print making. Not only does it help students understand negative space in relation to print making, but it can be a useful building block to exploring positive and negative space in other disciplines, and later on, as a conceptual consideration.

Image courtesy: Sally Esse

Dry-point etching

Copper plate etching

Lino printing during placement

  1. Sketch a mock up portrait. Select two colours to block out certain areas of your portrait. You should also decide which areas you would like to be white

  2. Transfer your portrait onto your piece of lino

  3. Cut away the areas you want to keep white

  4. Your first print should be done with the lightest colour.

  5. Roll your paint onto the glass sheet with a brayer, keep rolling in both directions until you have an even spread

  6. Roll the paint onto your lino with the same brayer. Again, in both directions until you have an even spread

  7. Place lino onto the printing press and align the paper by placing one finger on the corner of your paper and gently laying it on top of your print.

  8. Lay the fabric back down and keep turning the wheel until you are able to lift the fabric and collect your print.

  9. Let your print dry and wash your lino

  10. Cut away the areas of your lino that you would like to keep as the colour of your first print.

  11. Repeat steps 5 and 6 with your second colour

  12. Place your lino directly on top of your first print, facing down. Place one hand on top of your lino and slide the paper and lino to the edge of the table so that you are able to carefully flip them, leaving the paper ontop of the lino

  13. Use the back of a spoon and rub the back of the paper so that the paint from the lino transfers (you can keep checking how well it has transferred my holding down one corner of the paper and partly peeling the paper back

This class was taken by my mentor, but I assisted students throughout the entire process, so I was deeply engaged with the task. It helped me to recognise the importance of exploring the concept of positive and negative space in the earlier years. This is because students constantly expressed their confusion as to what they should be cutting away at each stage of the process.