Brian Fay

Black Church Process 2012/13

Master Printmaker: Debora Ando


Infra-red plate sequence from Vermeer's Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, 2012, drypoint on paper


Working as part of the Process initiative afforded me the opportunity to collaborate with those who have great expertise and experience of techniques in a variety of printing processes. I had not used analogue printing processes as part of my practice, even though I have long thought that a process like etching would be very relevant. On meeting with Black Church Print Studio we discussed the potential of drypoint as a form that equates readily with drawing, which is the main activity in my practice. This form of print is manual, it involves different stages of image production, as the sheets of copper used are physically marked and scored. For Black Church Process I used an infrared photographic image from Johannes Vermeer's painting Young Woman with a Water Pitcher c. 1664-65. The idea is to equate the 10 infra-red plates with 10 drawn copper drypoint plates and print them in a non-chronological sequence, across 11 sheets of paper. As each plate is used to print and reprint the sections of the overall image, the drawn line on the plate gradually begins to deteriorate. This role of entropy within the process of producing the sequence has subsequently become of interest to my work. The drypoint series presents a framework for the reflection on the role that time and technology plays in mediating our understanding of image creation, the preservation of the image's unstable form, and a making visible of its own history.


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Black Church Process is a new Studio initiative that invites leading art practitioners from other art disciplines to work with the resources of the print studio. This programme offers an insight into the potential of printmaking while promoting and positioning it within contemporary art practice. The projects are intended to be an exploratory process, initiated by the artist's vision, and facilitated by the skills and experience of a dedicated printmaking team of master printmakers and print coordinators. Artists are encouraged to explore the various possibilities that printmaking present to them. The collaboration between artist and studio aims to give the practitioner a comprehensive understanding of the processes and concepts of this art form and to lead to new and exciting directions in their practice.