Daily Archives: August 27, 2009

The Intentional Mark

Brunswick Arts has a group exhibition of print makers “The Intentional Mark”. It features the work of three emerging artists: Lilly Dusting, Zoe Minnis and Emma Nunan. There are a lot of very dark marks in this exhibition, all the more intentional because they have been printed using a variety of printing techniques.

Only Emma Nunan gets an essay written about her work. Is this because she won the 2008 RMIT Open Bite scholarship award and the Brunswick Arts Entry 09 Award? Or is there another reason why she has won the praise of Melissa Johnson of the Canberra Institute of Technology? (There were other inconsistencies in the exhibition display, like the title of the exhibition not being on the price list.) Johnson writes about the wabi-sabi aspects of Nunan’s fragile, raw and disintegrating prints. I saw the austerity of the formal arrangement, folding, crumbling of the prints as a type of post-minimalist sculpture exploring the possible arrangements of the paper. A few of the works really push the envelope of prints: the reflection of the light from the mirrors on which her folded prints are resting and the video of rotating threaded prints.

Lilly Dusting is exhibiting a lot of black marks in a variety of media. Sometimes these marks make a landscape formed from the variety of intensity of the same repetitive crosshatching mark. At other times they are just black marks etched into the plate. I was not as impressed with these works as I was with her prints that I saw at the RMIT printmaking graduate exhibition 2008.

The aquatints and mezzotints of Zoe Minnis are illustrations of cephalopods: nautiluses and octopuses. Using the aquatint method of printing allows Minnis to create large dark areas without crosshatching. The dark of her prints is the dark of the waters in which the nautilus swim; it is also the dark of the ink straight from the plate. The light, un-inked areas of paper form the alien bodies of the nautilus that Minnis depicts with accuracy and beauty.


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