Saturday 5 October 2013

Meet the printmaker: Hilary Prosser

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work…What sort of prints do you make?
I studied Graphic design at Brighton and also did post-graduate study at the design school in Budapest, Hungary. My first love was etching and last year I started learning about photo-etching which is great for capturing the subtlety and texture of my natural history photographs.  

As a complete contrast I also like to use very low-tech processes; cardboard, stencils and potatoes are ideal for producing very immediate, graphic work. I started using these techniques When I was in Hungary and didn’t have access to a press. I find the two ways of working feed each other.

Are you solely a printmaker or do you work in any other creative fields?
I do a lot of drawing and photography, painting, collage … I like working in different ways it helps me to work through ideas and find the best way to express them.

What is your earliest recollection of making a print and what made you to want to do more?
I enjoyed childhood potato printing but it was an evening class in etching when I was in my early twenties that really opened my eyes to how exciting printmaking could be.

What inspires you and are there any themes or ideas that often run through your work?
Anything and everything; daily life and the things I collect are usually the starting points. I have always kept sketchbooks and photographed things that catch my fancy, I pick all sorts of things up and bring them home; discarded bits of plastic or metal that have worn in an interesting way, old culinary items, textiles … also natural history, animal bones, fossils, bits of wood.

I love packaging, I’ve amassed boxes of examples over the years and I’ve got scrapbooks stuffed with pieces of old wallpaper, sweet wrappers … Signage is also big obsession I’ve photographed hundreds of  handmade signs, municipal signs, warning signs; these things tell you so much about a place.

I’ve travelled quite a bit, I lived in Holland for a year where I had a job observing public transport, clearly something started there that keeps recurring, there’s a lot to find interesting at transport terminals.

Could you give us an insight into where you work – your studio/workspace and where you print?
A room at home has become my studio, it’s full of the things that I’ve collected and could more  accurately be described as a cabinet of curiosities, it’s a reflection of my interests and obsessions which might seem random but when I put these things together I always see connections.  It can get quite chaotic there, so it’s fantastic to be able to escape to the tranquility of Spike Print Studio.

Which work of which other printmakers do you admire?
I’m a great admirer of Emma Stibbon and Martyn Grimmer who both work at Spike Print
Studio.  I’ve recently become aware  of Jane Dixon’s work which I love. 

inspirational printmakers in my formative years would include Victor Pasmore, Joan Miro,
Antoni Tàpies,  John Mufanjego, Tsugumi Ota, Emil Nolde, Picasso, David Hockney. 
I’m very keen on East European graphics and I’m in awe of Japanese printmaking.

How would you like to develop your printmaking skills in the future?
I’d like to make larger work

Which printed publication do you most look forward to thumbing through?
My bookshelves are very important to me, I have  lots of old copies of magazines such as
Raw Vision  and Ag which I refer to quite often. Twenty years ago I bought a book of ECM
album covers and that’s always a joy to revisit, I have also spent a lot of time recently looking
at a book of photographs by Senegalese photographer Malik Sidibé.

Monochrome or multi-coloured?

Thanks for those great answers Hilary its always really interesting to see what goes into the
ideas behind an artists work. and it looks like you'll be setting tracks in Volume 3 of the print

You can find out more about her work by visiting the artist's blog page seen below.

The Print Shop
Unit 6
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus

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