Sophie Balhetchet and Helen Adie – Works on Paper
4th November – 22nd November
1pm – 4pm daily by appointment only
‘You find yourself standing in a strange and ancient desert. You’re on a remote shore staring out over a vast ocean. You notice a curious fragment in the sand – of bone or plant or rock. At first all you can feel is awe, and a sense of your own insignificance. Then, as you sit with these intimations of deep time, a shift happens, a quiet comes and a consolation.
These works have been made over the past 12 months. They’re inspired by the great wildernesses of the Mojave and the Kruger and unnamed seas. They’re all screen-prints – a medium that allows one to work in veils of colour and transparency; to use motif and variation and to suggest the half-remembered.’
A figure watches from the sidelines, perhaps the wings of a theatre, wrapt by what she sees – some form of ritual, a procession, a dance. White paper becomes the empty space of a stage onto which a chorus appears, searching; or two people sit, locked in their own dramas; a storyteller charms a huddled group; a man emerges from shadow into a square of amber light.
Art can feel like a form of conjuring and different qualities in printmaking lend themselves to dramatic encounter. My work here includes woodcuts, etchings, aquatints, sugar lift and drypoint. Most recently, I have been adding hand-coloured chine collé to drypoint, hoping to create a tension between the strong black line and the more delicate Japanese papers. The technical formalities can be challenging but also appealing – there is an element of surprise and unpredictability which keeps the process fluid and alive.