Art, Identity & Place

How wild places, deep time and archaeology inform my contemporary art process

Copperplate etching, first stage

Copperplate is quite a hard surface in comparison to zinc or aluminium. I haven’t etched on copper for a while. This was an old plate with an aquatint that provided me with a dark area from which I began the composition. The composition is based on an earlier work titled Maria found the “golden spike”, an oil on gessoed paper.

Titled Maria Located the Golden Spike, 2013, 54x72 cm, oil on gessoed paper

Maria Located the Golden Spike, 2013

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The term “golden spike” refers to a part of the early boundary within the Flinders Ranges where 635-542 million  year old fossils were found. The significance of the find led the world science community to recognise a new geological period termed the Ediacaran period. The three printed images are firstly with red ink and then I tried a black area on top of the red. In the third image I printed red over dark grey in the background making it a little too dark. I needed to have a lighter grey under the red as a base. I then masked out the areas left as white.

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Several attempts at a suitable base layer with trial and error.

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More modification with the red layer.

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The red could be made lighter by a further lightening of the grey base layer. At this stage I’m half way through the process.

Author: elainedesterre

I have been producing oil paintings, mixed media, prints (etching), digital prints and drawings for many years travelling to the Australian outback and overseas for inspiration and further education. My formal education consists of a PhD in painting and a BA in printmaking and my artwork is represented in public and private collections. My purpose and ongoing challenge is to create a gender-balanced and environment-focused iconography within the Western canon of European oil painting. These themes find expression within imagery about time, memory and identity as well as in geomorphology of evolutionary and environmental significance.

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