Mono: An Exhibition of Unique Prints
Mono: An Exhibition of Unique Prints will be on view at Flowers Gallery from 7 July - 9 September at Flowers Gallery, 82 Kingsland Road, London.
The exhibition will feature monoprints by over thirty artists, many of whom work primarily in other media. The term monoprint or monotype is applied to prints that are completely unique, of which only a single copy is produced. This way of working often allows the artist freedom to explore new ideas and techniques which may then go on to inform their wider practice.
“I can be brave and experimental with a monoprint. If it doesn’t work out I tear it up and make another one. Or I have the option of adapting it, turning it into something else by over-printing or by making a ghost image or by adding drawn or painted additions. I make up the rules as I go along and I’m constantly surprised by what appears.” – Carol Robertson
“From any description the process of monotype would seem to be such a simple way of making a print. Literally, a one-off image is painted, rolled and scumbled onto a plate. A (usually damp) piece of paper is laid over the plate and passed through the press. The compression exerted by the press transfers the image from metal or wood to paper. But making monotypes can be frustrating, with a high rate of attrition. They are disconcertingly fiendish to pull off. Too much pressure with too thick an ink and pigment is squeezed out to resemble an asymmetrical Rorschach test. And if your paper loses its ‘size’ from being too wet, the tackiness of the ink sticks it to the plate like glue. Too damp, and the water in the paper repels the ink into clotted patterns. Too dry and the ink is not sucked out of the plate one is transferring the image from. When it all goes right, the process is pure Zen. The softness and directness can conjure up the immediacy between an idea and internal vision of an artist and its manifestation into the world. And it is a medium particularly suited to painters.” – Tom Hammick
“I have made monotypes all the way through – from taking impressions from plate glass in my MFA studio at Reading (in 1974), through to taking prints off two old metal warehouse doors in St Johns Wharf in Wapping (in 1984), up to the large monotype you see in this show, made from impressions off a large piece of painted mdf, and using a variation of the Tonking process (which is handy for taking of the top skin of oil paint and re-printing it somewhere else).
Like everything in my work it is both an improvised way of mark making yet with a methodology and structure that keeps it sure. I have used oil paint, gloss paint, and printing ink on a wide variety of monotypes,
“All of the prints feed into my overall drawing practice, both on paper and as installations. I visit the print studio regularly to test out composition, colour and pattern. The ideas explored in the print studio often appear in the wall and window drawings. Screenprinting in particular is very immediate and provides me with the opportunity to think through an idea via multiple variations of the same structure.” - Fiona Grady
“For me, the excitement of producing monoprints comes from putting obstacles in the way of making the image, and allowing accidents to happen. I paint the image onto a screenprinting screen, and squeegee it onto Somerset printing paper. I repeat this process, layering many versions of the same image, so that the finished print is an accretion of multiple interpretations; which parts of images stay visible or are obliterated or meld in the process, is left to chance. As an artist, you leave ideas behind as you advance, but you can lose interesting tools along the way and sometimes need something else, a different medium say, to remind you to look back.” – Tai Shan Schierenberg