New Graduate Award Update


In his 1947 book Prints and Visual Communication, William Ivins Jr regards line as a commodity. Its profusion in the etchings and engravings of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was not only due to improved technical capabilities, but also the demand for it. A demand for exactitude, clarity and truth. The more lines you used, apparently, the truer the story, the more honest you were being. And the appearance of honesty was, like now, big business.

My own pen drawing style echoes these old steel nets, albeit unwittingly. Through reading Ivins’ book (recommended during my first LPS graduate award meeting) however, I’ve gained insight into its historical context, its print-based roots and its currency as a marker of social change: things that I’d never given much thought to previously.

My work tries to look both backwards and forwards so I’m interested in using the award to learn more about these historical precedents and how they might interact with our digital syntax. February’s etching course will re-introduce me to the necessary processes and from then I imagine my free session allowance will soon be used up. The idiom of the botanical illustration will remain central.

Life as a recent graduate can be similar to that of a moose on the edge of adulthood. Abandoned by a mother who must look after her next generation, the calf must find its own path as it blinks into the glare wondering what the hell just happened and what comes next. I’m grateful therefore that the graduate award is there to watch my back and prod me along.

To view Matthew’s work please look HERE

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