Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research

Prints that Fly

Hoskins, Stephen
Name of conference: Talking prints Lecture Series
Place: Lancashire Artists Network, University of Central Lancashire
Date: 17.6.09
Paper Presented by: Stephen Hoskins
URL Links: www.lanarts.com

My prints are as much about the craft of making, as they are a gentle delight in challenging the notions of what constitutes a print and where the perceived borders between the fine and applied arts, end and begin.

In the UK there are still very distinct borders between, that which is perceived as Art and that which is then deemed Craft. A denial of craft skills seems to me as an educator a sad consequence of current trends within mainstream art practise.

I trained as a Fine Art Printmaker and though I now run a large research department, my true love is making. I have an abhorrence of badly made work, I use the term the craft of making deliberately, to me, the act of making work is often more satisfying than showing work. I enjoy trying to make an economical structure that has an inherent elegance and hopefully a beauty.

Paying homage to traditional kite manufacture, from Japan, Thailand, Nepal and India these works are only possible due to a marriage of late Twentieth Century technology and the unsurpassable quality of a delicate sheet of hand made paper. Within the work, the imagery is screen or inkjet printed onto handmade paper from Japan, Nepal and Thailand. Only delicate hand made sheets whose fibres run in all directions of the sheet such as the above are capable of being formed around the compound glass fibre shapes used in the frameworks. The glass fibre rods are tied and glued together using knots that are traditional, but made with a modern nylon thread.

The imagery used is often based on mathmatical proportion and Euclidian geometry. The aim is to marry the traditional techniques and techological materials where the precise imagery acts as a foil and counterpart to both. The tactile surface created by printing digital ink upon traditional paper breaks the distinctive nature of the digital image.

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