HLF 2019 Art

Printmaking works of IPEP 2018 display imprints worth the grit

‘Indigenous vision of the multicosm’; a linocut by Cenyace Ballesteros

‘Indigenous vision of the multicosm’; a linocut by Cenyace Ballesteros  

Having just exhibited a range of works titled ‘Microcosm-Macrocosm’ at Hyderabad Literary Fest, curator for IPEP 2018 Lina Vincent stresses on a more-needed conversation around hands-on art

Lina Vincent is taken aback when I ask her about her first interaction with printmaking. She blinks and replies finally, “It must have been during my school days when I observed these engravings.” The well-versed art historian and curator has over 15 years of experience, and she strives to keep learning. Lina is also chief program designer in visual art and design and Sublime ArtEd group in Bengaluru.

At Hyderabad Literary Festival 2019, the International Print Exchange Programme displayed its sixth season of curated works from 2018 commonly linked by the theme of ‘Microcosm-Macrocosm’ — and it drew quite a few curious eyes of those in both artistic and non-artistic circles.

IPEP 2018 Curator Lina Vincent

IPEP 2018 Curator Lina Vincent  

Neat squares of various styles of printmaking conveyed the different stratas of existentialism and of organised — or even disorganised- society. Having attended a university which had one of Europe’s largest and oldest printmaking facilities, I took to each of works.

The process of curation wasn’t as simple as it may seem. Lina recalls about 132 submissions coming in from various corners of the world, with the narrowing down to 40 works taking its time. “We also worked with these 40 to further develop their works. So there are numerous permutations and combinations of how these artworks are completed.

For example Floki Gauvry from Argentina implemented photo intaglio of an aloe vera. We do have a restriction of how much digital work is done, and these rules are shared before submissions should be made. From a curator’s point of view, I was really astounded by the common elements across different cultural interpretations of ‘Microcosm-Macrocosm.’” I refer to a few works which portray the various forms of conceiving life: conception and gestation, in particular, and Lina nods.

Beyond the aesthetic

Something that’s really worth a perusal — and this is for the hardcore academics — is the theoretical links between ethnography and anthropology with the print-making techniques. Cenyace Ballesteros from Mexico’s work is a vivid piece of red and green lines.

“The engraving is about an indigenous vision of Mexican ancestors’ knowledge,” reads the little description, “The microcosm as I see it in our mother-Earth is all the animals, plants and the spirits. We have out medical plants that teach us to connect with the energy of the macrocosm.” The plants in the lines are Hikuri and Ayahuasca, unique to Mexican culture.

Similarly, Sauraganga Darshandhari from Nepal uses etching and aquatint to delineate various social connections between gender and species. Set against vibrant nature, man still stands out.

Other techniques prominent across print-making includes chine-collé in which an image is transferred to a surface that is bonded to a heavier support in the printing process. There’s also platography, photopolymer etching, seriagraphy and dozens of others... pretty much its own microcosm in the far-reaching art world.

The print-making demo at Hyderabad Literary Fest 2019

The print-making demo at Hyderabad Literary Fest 2019  

So why these works at a literary festival? The IPEP is all about creating awareness around printmaking as an art form and it dates back to international literature’s early days where copious amounts of energy went into creating scriptures that were likely read only a handful of times. It reminds us to not take these techniques for granted because so much of what we read now in our easy-to-get paper or hard-back books wouldn’t be what they are without these methods. And judging from what I observed at university, the revival is real and becoming more popular and mainstream.

To boost the understanding and lure in more curious eyes, Lina set up a demo of the print-making process with a couple of volunteers who studied this subject in detail, showing how its done. They use a metal plate which has been etched with a design and rub oil-based ink into it. Then it’s placed under a portable print-maker with paper over it. The roll is placed tightly against the paper and plate and slow rolling coupled with immense pressure ensures a clean print.

If you’ve missed perusing IPEP’s display at HLF, fear not. The display will continue at Dhi Artspace at Ameerpet.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 7:45:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/art/printmaking-ipep-2018-at-hlf-2019-lina-vincent-imprints-worth-the-grit/article26111555.ece

Next Story