2021 Print Commission: Gwen Scott

In a new series of articles, we interview the PCA’s 2021 Print Commission artists about their working spaces.

16 September 2021
In Exhibitions,
Printmaking, Q&A

Main image:

Gwen Scott
Born 1959, NSW. Lives, Vic
‘Beautiful Entanglement’
Reduction linocut
Edition size: 30
Image size: 30 x 30 cm
Paper Size: 42.5 x 38 cm
Beautiful Entanglement is the latest print
in my series relating to cocooning. This
imagined scene is a combination of my
interest in vintage fabrics, the female
form, human/animal relationships and
the human need to find refuge to reflect
and connect with nature. The print was
created from one linoleum block and ten
individual colours were used.

Gwen Scott:

My partner and I moved to the Mornington Peninsula just before the pandemic. It sounds like a cliche, but we wanted to be close to a beach but not too far away from Melbourne. I grew up on the coast in New South Wales so I wanted to have that water experience again and everyday. We chose our house mainly because of the light filled rooms and the large garden. My partner is the gardener! I chose the formal lounge room at the front of the house as my studio because it’s big enough for my press and art stuff. It has large windows on three walls so I get an abundance of natural light and it has views across to Mornington, Moorooduc and Mount Eliza. I enjoy looking out onto the trees, the houses, seeing the weather changing, the birds and the big sky. Adding to that I see lots of people walking, cars and cyclists all making a colourful display in my suburban patch!  I love that my studio is not separate to my home life. I can easily duck in and out if I want to, or just spend loads of time there without commuting to a studio. In the past I have worked at various print studios and even leased a large space in an old spice factory in Newcastle years ago with fellow students. All that was fun and informative, but now I prefer to do it from home where I can adapt the environment to my creative needs.

My studio is not a curated space but a moving feast of shifting paper, tools, press (on wheels) and furniture. Finding comfortable working systems is imperative! I am slowly settling in and have plans to change the current wall colour when I have time to stop adding colour to paper!

Recently I have set myself a challenge to up scale my work a bit. Normally, I work on 30 x 30 cm image block or smaller, so now I am working on a 48(w) x 33(h) image block using the reduction technique and finding a new set of problems to solve! I have printed fourteen colours so far and I’m hoping that it doesn’t go pear shaped!

The work has been inspired by my local landscape and fauna and will be part of my on-going body of work relating to human/animal relationships. On my daily walk which often takes me along a cliff top path to the beach, I see an array of seagulls and shorebirds preening and playing. Often I see egrets where the creek meets the bay beach and marvel at their statuesque qualities and stillness. Sadly, most days at this creek you will find some sort of debris, mainly plastic items and in amongst that you will see the egrets and other birds going about their lives. I often wonder what they would say to us if they could talk about what a mess we make of their environment. I’m sure they would squawk “clean up your act so we can lead our best lives!” If only they could shout it out!  Anyway, I love to weave an emotional narrative into my work so this latest print is titled “Caring for the egrets” and stems from protecting the egrets from our pollution, even though I haven’t incorporated any pollution in the image itself! Why? Well, that’s another story…on my aesthetic sensibilities!

I’m aiming to finish this print for the Mornington Peninsula Studio Trail online exhibition coming up on 14 October – 12 December. (More information at www.peninsulastudiotrail.org.au )

Making plans for future exhibitions is a bit tricky at the moment especially a solo show. However, I am exhibiting in some online group shows coming up towards the end of the year and hope that more opportunities arise along the way. I am aiming at having a solo show in 2023 if our world evolves into something better than what it is now.

In the meantime, I’m taking advantage of all this extra time to experiment, play and enjoy the process of printmaking.

Stay tuned at www.gwenscottartist.com

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