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My intention is to capture a sense of movement in my prints.

I have moved away from life drawing (the real thing is still not available) and instead I have been drawing  from my own screen-shots taken from contemporary dance sequences. 

My research has been into the dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham, and his innovative ways of presenting dance, asking the audience to experience it differently.

Merce Cunningham : 'Dance maker, Fierce collaborator, chance taker,

boundless innovator, film producer, teacher'. 

I watched clips of his 1968 film Assemblage, the camera moved in amongst the dancers instead of being a fixed voyeur outside the experience. The film was then edited so that some dancers appeared within the silhouettes of others. This reminded me of the iconic imagery of the opening sequence of  'Tales of the unexpected' and the early James Bond film titles . . . . .

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This lead me to further visual research into the titles of  Maurice Binder. I could see how he had made the titles using projection and by running layers of celluloid footage together in the days before CGI.  I much preferred his simple bold overlapping images with a strong use of silhouettes to the more contemporary detailed imagery of recent Bond films now that the film makers have the use of expensive state of the art image making software. I am starting to see links between this imagery and that of printmaking layers. I also like the idea of applying this 1960's and 70's aesthetic to the shapes of more contemporary dance.

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I made some collages using some silhouettes from my life drawings (Egon Schiele session) and pages from a Sunday magazine which I found by chance. I realised I had fallen into a bit of a trap here as they are classical ballet images which is not my focus.  I will explore the disconnect/connect between the silhouette and the smaller image and the links that can be suggested.


'leaps and bounds' experimental printing session


I enjoyed the way of working which I employed with 'moving outwards' and decided to work in a similar way for my first movement experiment. I set myself up with 

1. a detailed tetrapak plate of a dynamic pose

2 a plain backplate

3. a plain silhouette of the pose

4. cut out newsprint templates of the dancer.

I made a group of 8 prints experimenting with different compositions and colours


This series of prints 'leaps and bounds'  has been bound

into a concertina book to suggest the movement

of a continuous narrative.

Limited to my A4 press (lockdown) I was quite restricted but able to play with positioning, shadowing, flipping, and using templates and backplate. The repeating of the figure suggests movement but in an awkward cartoon like way, I found the flip-shadows worked to add drama to the images and the overlapping gives interesting suggestions of relationships between the figures.These are the raw images, adding minimal acrylic washes has improved them.

Copious sheets of tissue were used in the print session and I kept and dried the sheets which had attractive patchy imprints on them and were transparent, ideal for making collages. This has given me the idea of incorporating them into compositions on canvas board using an acrylic medium, merging print and painting. . . .watch this space!


devised piece


To take the idea of movement forward I made more screen shots and selected three expressive stills which I thought would fit together to typify the movements of the contemporary dance style. I drew them, overlapping the silhouettes and also and by redacting the initial drawing before adding the next pose, 

My intention is to ultimately create lively prints showing the energy and unusual movement shapes that were part of this dancer's devised piece.


outcomes . . . 

Individual dancers


outcomes . . .

various compositions made by overlapping the overlapping the print plates


Each printing session generates tissue stained with ink, and patchily printed with the images.

I used the tissue to make this composition, it is possible to flip the image as the tissue is transparent and also to repeat the shapes and tear or cut them to accentuate shapes.

The tissue can be applied using acrylic medium to form the composition onto a canvas board and incorporated with acrylic washes.

I like the etherial and more delicate feel of the final outcome,  the dancer is in movement, but concentrating hard as she devises her routine.


inner emotion, outer expression


IPicking up on the aesthetic of the merge Cunningham film and the bond titles I developed 2 of the images from 'devised piece to create an outer and inner representation of the dancer

In the outer silhouette, she is thinking and focussing and imagining the inner dance moves.


Experimenting with paper and coloured 'light trails'





Techniques to suggest movement.

theme, drama, dynamic pose, balance, 

gesture, blur as in photography, indistinct shapes,

movement lines,  light trails, waves,

repetition, progression of line and shape in time, 

overlay, displace, palimpsest.


Tissue collage on a foot tapping theme.

Tingo tango, this is jazz!

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