We are very pleased to have Stephen Hoskins as a featured artist in the gallery and on our website.
‘My works are about the craft of making. They take 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.
I trained as a Fine Art Printmaker. Although 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. I find the act of making work more satisfying than showing work. I enjoy trying to make an economical structure that has elegance, and hopefully beauty.
My new direction was inspired by an invitation to take part in an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. I returned to my earlier roots and made a kite based on an eighteenth century toast rack, constructed from glass fibre rod, wood and Japanese handmade paper. This led to an exhibition of prints that flew and kites that were printed. Paying homage to traditional kite manufacture from Japan, Thailand, Nepal and India, making the kites was only possible by marrying late twentieth Century technology and the unsurpassable quality of a delicate sheet of hand made paper.
For the work displayed here I have gone back to my teenage years and my love of model aeroplanes. Between the ages of thirteen and sixteen, I made many aeroplanes using the traditional process of hand cut balsa wood ribs covered in Japanese tissue and sealed with Cellulose dope. Following the success of my kite series, I feel making planes is a natural progression.
The works on display combine traditional materials with new technologies. The plane ribs and formers are made in laser cut balsa wood. The model was drawn in Adobe Illustrator as a plan, front elevation and side view. The traditional Japanese tissue is inkjet printed on a UV cured wide format printer. I take a perverse delight in cutting a complete set of ribs for a wing knowing they will slot together first try!
In the UK there are still very distinct borders between perceptions of art and craft. As an educator, denial of craft skills seems to me a sad consequence of current trends. These works are an attempt to stand up for my beliefs as an artist.’
In the gallery we have a collection of prints by Stephen which will be on display until early December, come along to the studio to take a look at the works exhibited.