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Soaring High Skimming Low - A Collection of Collagraph Prints by Margaret Neith

Drought Breaking - Margaret Neith - A Collection of Collagraph Prints

A Collection of Collagraph Prints
by Margaret Neith

Exhibition opens
Saturday 12th March 2005
5pm - 7pm


"Soaring high, Skimming low" is Margaret Neith's first exhibition of her collagraph prints. This exhibition represents a new development for the artist, whose previous four exhibitions have been of her textile art.

Most collagraphs in this exhibition are framed monoprints, one-off art pieces.

In these highly textured prints, nature is imagined and represented in diminutive detail, from the orange lichen on rocky Tasmanian beaches to the dark blue-green of a walk in the rain forest, to the dry gnarled scrub of the Simpson Desert. The prints depict nature's moods and extremes - breaking drought, fallow earth, icy waters, and stormy skies. These prints fleetingly and impressionistically capture the atmosphere and emotion evoked by Australian locations to which Margaret has travelled or where she has lived. Margaret can revisit these places in her dreams and imagination, sometimes flying over them from a great height or just floating gently, barely skimming the ground surface.

Often when visiting new places and taking in Australia's scenic delights, travellers tend to focus on 'the scenery', taking in and photographing the more panoramic and distant sights. While Margaret,draws inspiration from the beauty and changing moods of these vistas, she is often to be seen examining the ground, collecting unusual natural objects -seeds, torn leaves, flattened metal and plastic, and photographing stagnant pools, cracks in rocks, fence posts, grassy tussocks, tree bark, water patterns, seaweed on sand, and leaf litter on the forest floor. Nature's complex and colourful minutiae is the particular raw material of this exhibition.

How were these prints made?

Collagraphy combines the mediums of collage and print by making a print from a textured board. First, Margaret gathers the raw materials for a collage - different types of cut and torn papers and card, textiles, plastic, threads and fabrics. She acids an assortment of diverse and unusual objects and materials gathered from the environment - from car parks, beaches, gardens, and the recycling centre. Textural mediums are also important - for example sand and crumbled vegetation. The next step is to prepare a thick cardboard texture board by sealing it on both sides with PVC glue, carefully gluing on the various design objects, and allowing each layer to dry before adding new elements to the composition. When all art elements have been added, the print surface is prepared by brushing on a layer of matte medium. Margaret then paints her board with gesso in preparation for painting the texture board with the chosen colours.

To make the print

Margaret brushes her texture board with oil paint or etching ink, then carefully wipes the board back with special fabric and grease-proof paper. The board is then p!aced on the printing press with the damp watercolour or printing paper on top, and run through the press. Carefully peeling the new print from the texture board is the final step, and the highlight of the creative process.

Margaret started her art career seven years ago and has had two solo exhibitions at the "Cato Gallery" in Melbourne, and one at the Cardigan Street Gallery in 2001. Her most recent exhibition, of her textile art, was at "Eagles Nest Gallery" in 2003. Since then, under the inspired teaching and mentorship of print artist Gail Rockman, Margaret has embraced collagraphy as her new medium, deriving enormous satisfaction and joy in producing the art works for this exhibition.

Then Gallery hours until 18th April 2005
Gallery open every day 10am - 5pm

Eagles Nest Fine Art Gallery
48 - 50 Great Ocean Road
Aireys Inlet, Victoria
Tel: (03) 5289 7366

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