Print Workshop – Week One

In today’s print workshop, I decided to relate my screen printed image to the city project and my initial ideas of what I want to do. I am pretty sure that I would like to do something to do with the people hidden within a city and wanted to have a go at incorporating this. To prepare for the session we went to the library and had a look through the display which they have put out for us for this project. After looking for quite a long time and not really finding anything of interest, I found a book called Metropol, which was full of really nice black and white photographs of a variety of people (ages, ethnicities, class etc). The book however had hardly any text and what was there wasn’t in English, so when I got home I looked up the author on the internet and found that Kristoffer Albrecht is a Finnish photographer and researcher and has published more than this book.
From the one in the library, I photocopied on image which took my particular attention:


There are so many unanswered questions within this photograph with no caption.
Why is he stood there?
How long has he been stood there?
Is he waiting for someone?
Where is he going?
Where has he come from?
How old is he?
What is his name?
Why does he need a walking stick?

Brandon Stanton, who is the photographer behind Humans of New York, always includes an extraordinary, interesting or humorous quote from his subject as a caption to his images which can give you an insight on what sort of person they are. However this can also sometimes leave as may questions as one with no caption does.

“I went to jail for ten years, but that’s all behind me.”
“What for?”
“Why should I tell you?”
“It’s your story.”
“….organized crime. Allegedly.”

In order to develop the photo of the man, I traced it, and then again, this time focusing on just the outline to not only create a simpler image for printing, but to also play on one of my ideas of loss of identity, or a story.

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Overall I was really please with how the screen prints came out: I mostly experimented with black and grey tones in order to keep to the idea of him being forgotten/hidden and also tried to suggest the idea of a crowd by layering the same image over and over in a row.

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I did also try a resist technique that Steve showed us using ripped up pieces of paper between the screen and the fabric. I did three separate ones, adding more paper each time. I tried to create the idea of him slowly disappearing (like into a crowd?)

I am looking forward to developing this one simple image further next week. I have previously done screen printing before but have never exposed it myself of make the paints using pigments, and also haven’t used foils etc before.


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