Tuesday 6 March 2012
Andy: Letterpress statement
My work is characterised by the use of both letterpress and illustration, with each being equally important to the final piece. Drawing is an integral part of my practice, and the illustrative element in my printmaking tends to be a drawn image, for example a life drawing. Letterpress is incorporated either as a title, suggestive of a poster, or as longer text, suggestive of a broadside. Sometimes the text subverts the image; sometimes the inclusion of a few letterpressed words with the image create a narrative for the viewer, albeit an often ambiguous one.
I admire the aesthetic quality of print produced by using letterpress; a quality which suits the style of print I strive to create: one inspired by broadsides, broadsheets, old advertisements, political propaganda, satirical and random ephemera and posters. The limitations and flaws of letterpress, be it work type, or the time taken to compose are part of the enjoyment and satisfaction of using the medium.
The current revival of letterpress may be a reaction to the prevalence of the digital format; the use of traditional methods in the face of commodification and standardisation of material culture. In this way using letterpress can arguably be seen as a social and political act- there seems no better medium with which to convey the political and socially relevant themes I intend to engage with, however subtly and ambiguously.