Printmaking Statement by Marc Clark
In 1938 aged 14 years, I enrolled as a first year student at the Sidney Cooper School of Art in Canterbury, Kent. One day each week of my studies was to learn the processes of Printmaking: etching, drypoint, linocut, woodcut and pen and ink drawing. My teacher was a well known book illustrator named John Austen who when young had been much influenced by Aubrey Beardsley. I loved working with these media as an extension to my drawing studies.
I have found throughout my working life as a sculptor that it can be stimulating and beneficial to engage in using other media. Unfortunately I have no record of these earlier pieces, so what I am showing in this exhibition As time goes by dates from the 1950s through the 1960s, then a long break until the 1990s when I started to make prints again. It wasn't until 1998 and from then onwards that I have made printmaking an important activity.
My work has been for many years predominantly figurative, drawn from memory, the etchings and drypoints sometimes drawn in a tentative manner, though hopefully using a sensitive line - a leftover from my training in the life class. For a brief while I attempted to break away from this and was influenced by German Expressionism. For these works I used the broader medium of woodcut. I returned to the more refined use of line through my love of the work of Botticelli and Modigliani and began to develop a form of controlled line. I endeavoured to simplify the work and give it a timeless quality.
For the past 4 years I have become interested in the land/seascape. I had previously made some watercolour paintings but abandoned this after a year, realising this was not the right direction for me. Using lino I then made abstract landscapes, finding these more in line with my conceptual aims. The recent "head" prints I have made I regard as some of the most successful, together with the imaginary landscapes entitled "Terra Incognita". Where I have used colour I have broken with tradition, preferring not to make multi-coloured prints, but using washes of colour where I find the overlapping of colour over the printed ink more exciting.
3 January 2004
Marc Clark Girl before a mirror 2000