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" Art Soho Pop Up Space"
by ART SOHO Galleries
22-09-2018 - 30-09-2018

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"Towards the Clouds Exhibition"
23-09-2018 - 13-10-2018

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" Art at Frame 88 Willoughby "
by ART SOHO Galleries
24-09-2018 - 30-10-2018

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  I always with my work I like to allow the medium to dictate to a large extent the direction that I follow. I am a great believer in lateral thinking, and with my etchings I work on the metal plate, "going with the flow", keeping an open mind, and "riding" the happy and unhappy accidents that occur along the way. I also like to use the action of the acid very much as part of the creative process, and my recent themes of elements in the landscape-erosion, structure, water flow, texture and universal forms, are a gift to the process of etching .

To retain maximum flexibility I often work on many small plates at a time, and the final images develop out of collaging the contrasting elements in juxtaposition. The etching/carborundum series, "Fractured Earth", and "Broken Land", are developed in this way. The theme of the fragility of the earth grew from the earlier "Hot Rock" series, and my visit to New Zealand in 1995. The land is crisscrossed with dramatic reminders of very recent earth movements, thermal activity and earthquakes, which is less obvious in older landscapes, where erosion takes over. In New Zealand there is always a sense of underlying danger, of the possibility of cataclysmic changes to the landscape and our lives. Now we have global warming and a sense that man is dramatically, perhaps irrevocably, affecting his environment.

The latest collaged etching / carborundum work, explores the theme of chemical reaction and erosion. "Silver Meltdown" was developed from a plate that had accidentally been immersed in pure nitric acid, then the dynamic and eroded forms which resulted were cut and reworked. The addition of silver leaf for "Silver Meltdown" developed this idea, which led to the "Alchemy" (where I used pure gold for the first time), and "Metamorphosis" series.

To create the collaged works I collect a large number of plates together with images, textures, vignettes, cloud formations, land formations, rock and plants forms etc. This is the basic material I work with, and I then begin to formulate, compile and distil my images by collaging the plates , cutting them, reworking them with acid until I eventually glue them onto a steel "base plate" . In these latest works I have sought to emphasize the forms by isolating them in a sea or pool of deep dark colour.

After trying many methods to achieve the intensity of colour I required, I found that by applying glue, and then the fine grit carborundum around the collaged images, I was able to get the sense of infinity, depth and space I was looking for. Each of the plates is then inked by hand, the carborundum areas absorbing a great deal of ink. I found it necessary to mask this surround out while inking the central area as the etched plates are subjected to several layers of ink, firstly with the "intaglio" ink (the first application which sinks into the deepest crevasses of the often heavily embossed metal). This inking is then wiped clean, and is followed by "the rubs" , often primary colours, which are applied in such a way to pick up at different levels of the specially-designed, deeply embossed plates. The sculptural quality of these plates allow the ink to "light" the surface rather like one would light a sculpture or a stage set with coloured light, thus the colour follows the form in a very true way, and creates a "buzz" of colour rather like refracted light. I have developed this method myself, although William Hayter in his Atelier in Paris exploited deeply etched metal by using hard and soft rollers, along with inks of different viscosity. I prefer the softer "illuminating" results for my work.

I print onto very heavy (400gms or 600gms) handmade French De Chene printmaking paper, which holds the embossing while printing fine detail and line exquisitely, and Somerset mould-made 300gms paper. All the works are printed in my own studio and signed in strictly limited editions.

Exhibitions at Soho Galleries by BRENDA HARTILL
View Artist's CV