Traditional linocut printing may not be the most popular artform around these days but for Drysdale artist, Pip Williams, it is one of the most exciting. Pip has been making linocut prints for 8 years using the colour reduction technique. This process uses the same block of lino for the 5 or 6 different coloured layers that make up the print. With each new layer of ink, more lino is carved out of the block. There is no room for error – to do this successfully takes considerable planning and an ability to envisage the final outcome before starting the print.
Every linocut print is unique. Pip’s penchant for experimentation ensures that no two prints are the same. “I just love colour,” Pip says. “The influence of one colour on top of another colour is the most exciting part. And there are lots of happy accidents.”
The hand made prints have an appealing earthy simplicity that eschews the sophisticated precision of modern technology. Her current series of prints are based on the environment around the Bellarine Peninsula.
“My work tends to be about the environment around me or where I have travelled,” Pip says. “It has to be something I have a connection with. There are so many wonderful landscapes and scenes that hold emotions for me.” Pip has completed a series of prints inspired by a trip to New Zealand, another by a stay in Ghana. Japan has also been an influence on her work. The shoji screen (below) depicts scenes from her lounge window. It is a combination of multi printing several prints as well as layering colours to achieve a rich glow.
You can see Pip’s work at 135 Gallery in Drysdale which she established to showcase her work and that of other artists in the Bellarine area. She also runs linocut print workshops and sells the special water soluable inks that she imports from America.
Today, Sunday 17 October, 135 Gallery is launching Octoberprest, a group exhibition of local artists. It features glass works by Vicci Crowley-Clough, photography by Pasqualina Grosso, prints and etchings by John McClumpha and of course Pip’s own linoprints. The exhibition runs until early December. 135 Andersons Rd, Drysdale. For more information phone Pip on 5253 3461.