We're delighted to be presenting this series of Michael Kirkman's unique monoprints.
Michael explains how these one-off pieces of work are created...
“The nature of my work as a relief printmaker often creates small windows of opportunity to explore the art of the monotype. In between editioning or proofing linocuts I’m regularly faced with a slab or rolled out ink. Instead of reaching for the white spirit I recently started creating a series of monotypes.
I choose a heavyweight paper simply as I enjoy the sensation of pressing through soft sheet to solid glass - the contact seems indescribably satisfying. A thicker paper also prevents me from being to precious with fine line work, instead encouraging a grainier, sometimes broken line similar to that made by a waxy litho crayon.
My chosen paper is placed over the rolled out ink and I simply begin to draw on the reverse of the paper. I use whatever I have to hand to draw - pens, pencils, the end of a roller, the palm of my hand, a key fob - anything that will create a mark.
As you draw you are almost blind to what is being produced as the contact is created between the hidden side of the paper and the surface of wet ink. As you peel back the paper the results are often a mess, though occasionally magic happens - your prayers are answered and you are presented with a drawing far removed from that created on the reverse.
The drawn marks have a flattened appearance similar to that created when a drawing is screen printed, yet the line is rich in character created by the erratic way the grainy paper surface kisses the supper slick surface of wet ink. Every weighted contact and gesture with the paper is recorded as a unique irreversible mirrored mark on the hidden side.
There is a fragility to monotypes as they are easily overworked, whilst the medium rewards confidence and expression. I continue making these monotypes as they help me in my ongoing relationship with print as it continues to excite and throws up happy accidents and lessons are learnt. I can sleep at night knowing I have used up that otherwise wasted opportunity that is a rolled out surface of ink.”
You might also like to view a selection of Michael Kirkman's editioned linocut prints.