Three new woodcuts launch at The London Original Print Fair with Rabley Gallery, until 29 May 2021.
A few years ago I travelled to Tokyo in the spring around cherry blossom time. I wanted to see Japan’s most iconic mountain Mount Fuji, but with sightings from Tokyo averaging only 70 days a year – less in April -I took a train to Lake Kawaguchi to get closer in the hope of a glimpse. I arrived at night, but when I opened the curtains in the morning the sight of Mount Fuji perfectly framed and set against a brilliant blue sky is an image that has stayed with me since. I spent time drawing at all times of the day and in different weather conditions. A powerful symbol of a nation, sometimes crystal clear at other times lost in haze and fog, symmetrical and timeless -it is as if it has always been there and always will be. But experts think after more than 300 years it’s due to erupt soon. I felt blessed to have seen it at all, and the feelings of awe, transcience and feeling tiny in the enormity of its presence stayed with me and is still informing an ongoing series of work. Reflections in still water are a recurring theme in this new body of work, and using the theme as a mirror and a space for contemplation.
I chose the medium of woodcut for its very physical properties, and of course though I used modern machines and tools to carve my lines, the use of woodblock and the subject matter make reference to the great Japanese masters of printmaking – in particular Hokusai’s incredible series made around 200 years ago. My woodcuts are made in at least three colours with graduated blends at Omega Printworkshop in Portsmouth and printed on a Rochat etching press. I am hoping to describe the changing colours and light by working in a series of prints in two sizes.
Fujisan 1: Daybreak, woodcut, edition 20, 1/20
Fujisan 3: Lake Saiko, woodcut, edition 20, 1/20
Fujisan 2: Long Night, woodcut, edition 20, 1/20