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Scratching the surface

An international print exhibition designed to present “the complex nature of the printmaking process in the fullest possible manner” has accepted all three of Gisborne artist Hannah King’s submissions.

Artists from around the world were invited to submit works to the International Print Triennial Society Krakow’s Pandemic transgrafia 2020 online exhibition.

King used drypoint to create the prints. Drypoint involves inscribing the surface of a hard material (the plate), rubbing ink onto the plate so it fills the scratches and pressing the plate onto paper.

Lockdown restrictions meant King had to improvise with materials. A needle sufficed as an etching instrument while the plate was a sheet of acrylic.

To create an atmospheric sky for her work Battle In Sight, the artist left some ink on a non-scratched area of the plate.

Made specifically to meet the exhibition’s theme of Covid-19’s impact on the world, the print is dominated by a figure who peers through a magnifying glass.

Behind him or her, shadowy forms stand at the foot of the Cenotaph. The forms suggest people wanting to connect at an Anzac Day service or it could represent those involved in the battle against the virus, said King.

“The young person with the magnifying glass represents the need to research and find the answer to stop the spread.”

In the work, Frontline Fighters of the World, a wad of blank papers held in front of a masked medical worker’s face could be money, misinformation or messages, said King.

King’s third work, Changes, features a top-dressing plane as it flies over two distressed people in a desolate setting.

Created prior to notification of the exhibition, the print addresses the impact of chemical pathogen-killer-sprays on people, plants and wildlife.

“It is a comment on things happening in the world,” said King.

“When I looked again at this piece, I thought ‘this looks like Covid’.”

The PANDEMIC transgrafia 2020 can be found on Facebook page, https://tinyurl.com/yaj6ogsp

Hannah King