Of all the terrains that embody the beauty and menace of the natural world, the Irish landscape is one of the most dramatic, with its sharp cliffs and tumultuous weather patterns. At this year’s London Original Print Fair, Dublin’s Stoney Road Press features works by several accomplished artists, including three who explore topography by working with traditional printmaking techniques to create brooding works on paper.
“The interplay between natural and architectural forms that occurs frequently in my work is ... an exploration of the idea of that binary sort of attitude that underpins much of European thought,” says Blaise Drummond, the Liverpool-born artist who now calls Ireland home. Drummond creates intaglio prints that are stitched through with thread that adds subtle texture to his minimalist images of woodland scenes in Scandinavia. Drummond’s images, which are inspired equally by the land art of the ‘60s and the utopic architecture of Le Corbusier, seek to explore the collision of environment and culture, the tension between the built and natural environments—a contrast that is embodied by his combination of ink and the sculptural thread in his work.
Also on display are John Kelly’s vast, geometrically stylized prints of stony crags rising from the famously dramatic Irish Sea and Antarctic icebergs. Kelly, who has worked in a number of mediums and holds passports from England, Australia, and Ireland, is inspired by the landscapes of artists like Paul Henry, Brett Whiteley, and Fred Williams—painters whose simple depictions of the natural world were capable of communicating vast and existential concerns. The series itself, says Kelly, began when he became fascinated by a modest Paul Henry painting in the foyer of a hotel and immediately began working on a homage.
His prints are joined by those of Donald Teskey, a Limerick-born painter, whose large-scale treatments of the thundering Irish coast have garnered him recognition on local and international scales—his meditative series has focused recently on variations on close inspections of these rocky shores. his “Fractured Shorelines,” expressive compositions that channel the power of the natural scene, from the monumental cliffs to the crashing waves, and recall in viewers the feeling of cold, crisp sea spray. Alongside fellow Irishmen, Teskey brings a slice of the iconic Irish countryside to Central London this week.
Visit Stoney Road Press at the London Original Print Fair, Apr. 23–26, 2015.