I'm passionate about art, poetry, the English language and all things maritime, and I also love drawing: https://touchpaperdrawingtips.wordpress.com/ Join the Fight for the Reef! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Postcards-for-the-Reef/997018917032291
There's always room on your wall for these tiny works of art
A few months ago I wrote about the amazing Tooth and Nail Gallery/Workshops which loves to host the latest ideas in contemporary art, focusing on printmaking and especially screenprinting.
Tooth and Nail's latest exhibition is just as contemporary, but the printmaking technique it features goes back more than two centuries. I first came across wood engraving in the prints of Thomas Bewick.
Owl, wood engraving by Thomas Bewick (Wikipedia Commons)
He used metal engraving tools on the endgrain of wood to produce fine lines (the blocks for woodcuts are made from the length of the wood, so the wood grain is often visible in the printing and it is harder to carve with precision) reviving the art of printing with wood which had suffered since the invention of metal engraving. Endgrain blocks are always very small, averaging around 2 x 5 cm, because they are made from small hardwood trees such as cherry or boxwood. Australian trees are not usually suitable, so the blocks you can buy here are imported from England or America.
William Shakespeare, copper engraving by Martin Droeshout (Wikipedia commons)
These days, wood engraving is a rare and specialised art. There are very few Australian artists who specialise in the technique, so we are privileged to have an exhibition of the work of David Frazer currently at Tooth and Nail.
In addition, there are wood engravings by former students of David's as well as by some of the small number of South Australian artists who already practise this craft. The exhibition is curated by Simone Tippett and Deborah Prior.
Simone Tippett opening the exhibition at Tooth and Nail
The craft remains as fresh now as it was in the eighteenth century, as new artists are finding new ways to re-interpret traditional methods.Go and explore, enjoy and be intrigued by this fascinating medium, and make sure you bring your wallet to take advantage of the extremely reasonable prices of the works on show. We hope David may be persuaded to come back and run more workshops next year, so if you fancy trying your hand at this new medium then get in touch with Simone at Union St Printmakers.