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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 33 No. 8. 10 June 1970

Current prints

Current prints

Last year the New Zealand Print Council was formed at the Auckland Art Gallery. The council will provide organised support and encouragement for the substantial body of serious printmakers that now exist in New Zealand.

Printmaking essentially involves leaving an impression of the artist's image on the surface of another object. As such it is an original creation and must be recognised as a work of art.

Among the best known printmakers in New Zealand today are Elva Bell, Patrick Hanly, Barry Cleavin and Mcrvyn Williams, but the most outstanding is John Drawbridge.

Born in Wellington in 1930 he was an assistant lecturer at Teachers' College before being awarded the National Art Gallery Travelling Scholarship in 1957, which enabled him to study at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, where many of the new approaches to printmaking were taught. For a year he studied printmaking in Paris under S.W. Haytcr and Johnny Friedlandcr. At present he lives in Wellington where he teaches in the design department of the Wellington Polytechnic.

Ten of John Drawbridge's prints are currently exhibited at the National Art Gallery. All are of an' extremely high standard. In the 'Tanya Going and Coming" scries the artist is concerned primarily with exploring three different aspects of space. With utmost simplicity of colour—black, grey and white—he captures the essential quality of space; not by alternately defining the area, but by suggesting its infinity with a subtly distorted perceptive. By varying the tone and texture of his prints, introducing grey patterned areas to relieve the intensity of the contrasting black and white, the prints are given an imaginative, almost lyrical quality.

The stark area of plain black give the prints solidarity and density. Areas of light are carefully placed so as to draw the eye into the moving "Tanya Going and Coming."