BLACK CHURCH PRINT STUDIO, DUBLIN

Arrived in Dublin of the 3rd January 2019 to undertake the Lady Wilde’s Cats Project.

15 Days
Day 1, Friday 4th January 2019

Today was great I met Black Church Print Studio technician, David in the studio. It is centrally located in the Temple Bar.  David acquainted me with the studio, I was allotted an area to work, a drawer, a selected stone to work on and allocated keys for access in and out of the studio – feeling pretty blown away to be here. Next stop was the National library of Ireland, I had put in a request to view and read the book Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions of Ireland by Lady Francesca ‘Speranza’ Wilde 1888. Firstly I had to become a member, then I was sent to the Yeats reading room for manuscripts, which is in another building on Kildare St. To sight the book was amazing and I spent several hours there, reading the story ‘Concerning Cats’, ‘The King of Cats’ and ‘Demon Cats’, photographing the relevant pages along with the patterned inside front and back of the book. I was advised that vol 2 was available for me to view also, so this was on my day 2 to-do list.


Black Church Print Studio, Dublin

National Library of Ireland Reading Room

The Temple Bar, Print Studio located just after the pink flags

Day 2, Saturday 5th January 2019
Firstly the Yeats Reading room again to view and read Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions of Ireland by Lady Francesca ‘Speranza’ Wilde 1887 Vol 2 and wow this was signed by Yeats himself to endorse Lady Wilde’s book.
I also took the opportunity to have a brief wander around Dublin and formulate and sketch some ideas for Stone No1.
Stone No 1; Is the Lady Wilde story ‘Concerning Cats’ from the book Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions of Ireland by Lady Francesca ‘Speranza’ Wilde about Nora the farm girl who has a visit from a ‘noble squire’ she sets about to marry him, so she beats a black cat to death, then boils his heart & liver to powder, she then uses it to make tea in a black teapot – the squire visits daily for a passionate embrace, tea & griddle cakes – the love potion works brilliantly & he proposes marriage. (I’m proposing that the house cat (& catcher of rats) had toxoplasmosis – hence the squires reckless behaviour as the parasite infected his brain.

Ideas for Stone no 1

My walk to the studio across The Liffey

Day 3, Sunday 6th January 2019
Went to Laytown early in the day, just 25 mins north of Dublin in County Meath – (where my grandfather was from) and back to the studio to grain my stone. David suggested using a small stone to grain the larger stone as opposed to the levigator, which had a tendency to scratch. (this was the method that I had used previously)
I found the stone on stone method much less physically demanding.

Layton Beach, County Meath

Stone No 1

Day 4, Monday 7th January 2019
I formulated my composition in photoshop which I then printed to size and used as reference for my drawing. Full day in the studio, after purchasing some materials. Continue with the graining of the stone. When I completed graining the drawing began.

Stone No 1

Drawing started on Stone No 1
Day 5 & 6, Tuesday and Wednesday 8th & 9th January 2019
The following days were spent drawing on the stone in the studio
 

Day 7, Thursday 10th January 2019
The day started with a visit to the Dublin flower market to purchase witch hazel sticks for reference for my 2nd stone.  I completed drawing stone no 1
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Hazel Sticks from Dublin Flower Markets

Completed drawing for Stone no 1
In the evening I went to the opening night of; ‘Some Concrete Possibilitiespresented by Black Church Print Studio – an exhibition featuring Cara Farnan, Garreth Joyce, Helen MacMahon and Lee Welch. Curated by Siobhán Mooney, winner of Black Church Print Studio Emerging Curator Award 2019. ‘Some Concrete Possibilities’ looks at the role of Chance and the different ways in which it impacts and influences the development of an artwork. Ideas of reappropriation, reimagining architecture, the magic in the everyday and the potential of experimentation are also explored.


Photos from Some Concrete Possibilities  exhibition opening night

Day 8, Friday 11th January 2019
Good day in the studio, grained stone #2, and started the drawing.

Day 9, Saturday 12th January 2019
Started drawing on one of the aluminium plates purchased from Black Church Studio. I also spent some time scouring the 2nd hand retailers to find a dress ring for experimentation, with the goal to create a small 3d piece to accompany these lithographs for my Zoonoses Exhibition at Caboolture Regional Gallery in June 2019.

Day 10, Sunday 13th January 2019
Full day drawing stone #2, Experimented with layering tousche with the addition of salt and litho pencil sharpenings to the tousche

Day 11, Monday 14th January 2019
Finished the drawing on stone #2 and then completed the First etch on both stones

Day 12, Tuesday 15th January 2019
2nd etch on both stones and printing of stone #2. Good day slightly underetched the stone dark areas suffered some scumming but as I had experimented with the layering of the tousche – I was relatively happy with the results though

Day 13, Wednesday 16th January 2019
Printed stone #1 with pretty good results. Once again I struggled a little with getting the blacks sharp with adequate ink and the delicate areas with the biro & rubbing tousche from scumming, but overall pretty happy – I’ve started regraining stone #2 with the hope of trying to get another litho drawn and printed by Saturday and I gave stone 1 just a light gum coat – will washout tomorrow and try spot colours tomorrow with the help of David. Im Feeling quite rushed now with the reality of only a few days left in the studio.

Day 14, Thursday 17th January 2019
My day today entailed graining stone #2,
To have a break between graining I  also hand coloured a print from  stone #1 prints. I also started drawing the 3rd lithograph hoping to complete the drawing and print by Saturday.

Day 15, Friday 18th January 2019
I spent the day drawing the 3rd lithograph on stone #2 – my intention is to create a ‘Lady Wilde, Toxoplasmosis mobile. I also have been drawing a ‘lithographic tile’ which I can utilise in creating another wallpaper, with the intention of it being hung behind the ‘Lady Wilde works I have created during my time here at Black Church Print Studio, Dublin.

Day 16, Saturday 19th January 2019
Sadly today I packed up my things for a final time, I cut out and assembled my ‘Lady Wilde’s Toxoplasmosis Mobile’ and hand coloured the lithograph from stone #2. Leaving David a print of each of the lithos I worked on for the studio. I want to also take the opportunity to thank David, Hazel and all the members of Black Church Print Studio for making me feel so welcome, along with the assistance of arts qld. My time here has been brilliant, I have learnt so much and leave with a greater sense of confidence in my practise.

Concluded my stay in Dublin with a visit to the National Gallery of Ireland

Since my return I have been hand colouring the stone lithographic ‘wallpaper tile’ print I created at the end of my time at Black Church and digitising it to create a wallpaper. The wallpaper will be used as a backdrop to the ‘Dublin’ works in my Zoonoses Exhibition at Caboolture Gallery in June.