Sunday, 30 November 2014

The Same but Different

Minus Plus Equal (- + =) is a collaborative project I've just finished working on with Jack Oudyn, who has also posted about this collaboration on his blog. 
Like our previous collaborative book Chance, this collaboration was inspired by a talk given at the State Library of Queensland earlier in the year, by two visiting German book artists, Ulrike Stoltz and Uta Schneider, who work collaboratively as USUS.

We began by individually making ten abstract linocut blocks, each measuring 7 x 7 cm. and mounted them on single wooden blocks that Jack had very kindly prepared in advance.

We each printed off our ten small prints.  We met and alternately chose one of the prints until we had put them together into a compilation of 12 squares.

Many experiments ensued as we tried to find the best way to print the compilation.  Inking them and lining them up to print individually was tedious and difficult, so Jack mounted the twelve blocks together on a board.  Neither of us has a press and we are both interested in simple hand-made methods of production.  The compilation block was printed by hand using wooden spoons.  The first five prints were in black ink on white paper.

The second five were printed in white ink on black paper.

We marvelled at the differences and optical illusions of the black and white combinations and the positive and negative space.

The title "- + =" came from the progress of the work, subtracting from the block to add to the alternative colour, and how although both prints and paper sizes are equal, when they're side by side they do not appear to be so.

They were then folded and mounted into both black and white folders I had made and linocut prints of the title Jack had prepared were glued on to each folder.

The final task was to construct Perspex boxes to house each pair of black and white prints in our edition of five.


dinahmow said...

Very interesting, Helen.You and Jack seem to be "on a roll" now.

rObfOs said...

Another fantastic result from an obviously successful and enjoyable collaborative union.

Jack Oudyn said...

Great blog Helen, so good I'm linking with you in mine which is much shorter and more basic.

Elizabeth Banfield said...

What a great collaborative project Helen. I love seeing the process and the blocks. Congratulations to both of you, it's a beautiful piece.