Reflections & Impressions of a Particular Process
Neural Drawings are a series of unique hand-printed artworks that are made using a process I’ve explored and developed since late 2021.
Neural Drawings is a series of works that have beginnings in a clear intention yet have been formalised by a long process of thoughts interweaved with technique that take reference from a multiplicity of areas. For this reason, Neural Drawings are a complex tissage and hence, what will unravel in reading, will be a collage of reflections rather than a coherent flow of ideas.
The intention is but an impression I have at a particular point in time. And yet those impressions are never static, rather they are like reflections that flicker on the surface of a beautiful lake. Fleeting moments of plausible being beckoning the artist to rise and take action.
From action, a process takes form and impressions become less ephemeral, more concrete, and perhaps indeed more physical. An impression left on a surface, fixed and framed and now laid bare for all to see.
A simple mantra I repeat to myself at sporadic moments throughout the year; an idea is only as good as the time you give it. And with this thought, a process takes place and something takes form. In order for me to do this, I decided on slow media as part of that process.
Neural Drawings are a series of unique hand-printed artworks that are made using a process I’ve explored and developed since late 2021. The process goes a little like this:
- Create an underlying visual structure.
- Use this structure to guide pencil line drawings as a means for mark making.
- Output the result using a laser printer to create a matrix or master plate.
- Make prints with this matrix using an etching press.
While I am capable of digging deeper into the technicalities of each of those steps, I tend to eschew the technical because I feel that this reduces the work to a tutorial or how-to video. It is far more interesting to know about the why, is it not?
For me, Neural Drawings has been an experiment. A means to try new ways of image making but also an attempt to express ideas that have fuelled the whole process in a rather collage like manner. Memory is one of the recurring themes in this work. Why else would I go to so much trouble to evoke the work of Santiago Ramón Cajal’s illustrations of neurones, to talk about searching for Hiroshige and his wonderful woodblock prints, Hooke and the beauty of art and nature to inform and why would I choose an age-old technique such as the etching press to finish this all off?
Print, the traditional printing press, is the transferring of media, it is the active marking of one to impress the other, it is a living memory. With print, the work finds a state of being. For me, it is a not just a means to bring my work to a stable and fixed state. It is equally to enrich and embody the concepts of transformation from one to another, as a memory does in creating our realities. I like to think that these works will slowly fade and weather with time and yet remain images that may evoke future thoughts with past recollections.
My story behind these works still eludes me in it’s entirety. And that is just a reflection of a state of being - one that has been in a constant state of flux of sporadic attentions.
Watch a short video of the printing process.