Wednesday 11 September 2013

Meet the Printmaker - Carrie Love

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work…
What sort of prints do you make?

I make large scale lino cuts, and have experimented with plywood carving as well to achieve the scale I want.  At the moment large rolls of lino are my favorite medium. I focus on portraiture and the human figure to convey as much of the positivity of human beings as possible. My work is mainly linear and I love the textures from the cutting tools that keeps the print as much like my original drawing as possible. I am experimenting more with the possibilities and vagueries of monoprinting for the ‘colouring in’ which keeps each print unique.

Are you solely a printmaker or do you work in any other creative fields?
I also love constructing objects and creating spaces, I work in set design and prop making and also teach art at Forest Schools. I also have a cartoon strip “Lally” at which is my illustration website.

What is your earliest recollection of making a print and what made you to want to do more?
I had a fabulous teacher when I was 11 who taught me the core skills of drawing from life, and lino cut printmaking. I won a Cadbury’s Childrens Art award from a piece I made with his assistance and always loved the way reduction printing (multiple colours from one print plate) made my head feel a bit bendy. After years of being a commission artist and realizing I had lost all joy in the creative process, I dug back in my heart to remember what really used to get me excited, and it was clear… Lino Cuts!

What inspires you and are there any themes or ideas that often run through your work? Yes, female identity is my core passion to explore.  I have been overwhelmed in the past as to where to start, but these days I focus on the positives, and I start with my friends who are beacons of inspiration to me and I hope, others. The women I portray are grounded and at home in their bodies, sexually vibrant and yet not for the viewer’s approval. They are business women, pioneering healers, and courageous explorers of life skills and authenticity. My wish and driving force is to widen the gratitude and public celebration of the diverse qualities of women in our society.

Studio with commissioned props for Stills in Time photography
Could you give us an insight into where you work – your studio/workspace and where you print?
Yes I am based at BV studios in Bedminster, a fabulous space of creative energy and community. I share my studio with some amazingly talented and focussed women who are very tolerant of my mess.

 Desk space, including plywood print plate for “Jo of the Earth”
The work of which other printmaker/s do you admire?
Swoon is undoubtedly the master of portrait printwork for me, and she gave me total permission to go LARGE! Funny how I never had thought it possible before discovering her. I met her a few years ago and she is phenomenal.. so grounded and just…herself.

I also love Tracey Emin’s  scratchy monoprints and Anita Klein’s strong line and domestic intimacy.

Printmaking is made up of lots of different processes, which aspect do you enjoy the most?
I love the carving and the regular trips to the chiropractor after a large project…

Do you have a favourite tool or something you find invaluable when printing?
Posca pens or acrylic ink to draw onto the lino surface.

Can you share a little printing trick or secret with us?
Cut AWAY from your body and carve in the sun whilst sunbathing if at all possible (warm lino is MUCH easier to cut).

How would you like to develop your printmaking skills in the future?

I am coming up with cunning plans that involve heavy rolling things so I can use heavier papers. Other than that, ways to incorporate more collage into the end piece, I love mixing techniques.

Which printed publication do you most look forward to thumbing through?
Sunday paper magazines.

Monochrome or multi-coloured?
There’s more fear in colour for me, and I am attracted to exploring that, as well as being in love with simple black line.

Thanks Carrie. We love the texture and impressive scale of your prints. Thank you for taking the time to give us an inside look at the story behind them.

Carrie Love's work is currently featured in the second volume of The Print Shop, which runs until September 29th. If you can, please do pop by the shop to see all our printmakers' work for real... the computer images never really does their work justice! 

The Print Shop
Unit 6
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus

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