Friday 27 September 2013

Donwood's woods

Stanley Donwood, 'Wait here and I will come for you' (2013)

A little over a year ago CFPR Editions began discussing the possibility of producing a print edition with the artist Stanley Donwood. A year later we are pleased to announce the completion of two new laser engraved editions (February Holloway, 2013 & Wait here we will come for you, 2013) that have recently coincided with Donwood's Solo exhibition 'Far away is close at hand in images of everywhere' at the Outside Gallery, Soho, London.

This most recent body of work (described by the artist as his 'tree period') is inspired by Holloways (hidden country footpaths) and other arboreal scenes; this work is also featured in a bestselling book of the same name and formed the artwork for Radiohead’s latest record, The King of Limbs. Holloway lanes are characterised by an over-arching avenue of fauna that creates a natural tunnel effect. "In the lead up to making these pieces I became fascinated with the idea of a cathedral of sound," says Donwood. "I was working with Radiohead on the record that was to become The King of Limbs, and my early hearings of the music seemed to suggest an over-arching canopy of detail.”

Holloway, Robert Macfarlane, Dan Richards, Stanley Donwood, 
Published by Faber & Faber 2013

While working on the Holloway book, Donwood slept overnight under some of the canopies in south Dorset, most of which have since been cut down. He then drew the canopies from memory back at his studio. It was this body of arboreal drawings that were used as a starting point to develop Donwood's edition with CFPR Editions.

The Bends (1995), Ok Computer (1997) & Atoms for Peace (2013)

For those of you who may not know Stanley Donwood he is best known for his work with the band Radiohead who he has created artwork for since the group’s inception in 1985.  Donwood and frontman Thom Yorke met at Exeter University and the two are often thought to be one and the same, despite accepting a Grammy award together for the band’s packaging in 2002.

Collaborative research interest
When approaching an artist about producing a print edition our studio approach often begins by showing the artist a process, material or tool that they may not have encountered before. This technically led approach can sometimes offer a different, new or novel option for the artist and is often considered to be the main collaborative contribution of the editioning studio. In most cases the studio's affiliation with print process is a pragmatic one yet this form of practice based activity often initiates dialogues that reveal rich insights about the artists practice and the realisation of printed matter. 

This practice based engagement with making and production considerations has become central to CFPR Editions philosophy and subsequent area of contribution concerning; the production of digitally mediated artworks and the fostering of practice based insights within this emerging arena. With this in mind (and given that Donwood has produced both mechanical and digital prints in recent years) we hoped to develop a project that would offer the artist a different digital process but perhaps more importantly a resulting image where the binary fused with the organic.

As previously mentioned the dialogue between studio and artist is central to developing further insights about the discipline of printmaking and we therefore felt it only necessary to ask the artist about his interest/observations/ position /relationship with new and old technologies. The artist offered the following thoughts, 

'Each generation is seduced to an extent by the technology of it's own time; if our civilisation doesn't collapse in the near future there will presumably come a time when 3D printing is perceived as quaint and old-timey.
I think that when what we see as 'technology' first began to develop at a rapid pace, during the Industrial Revolution, people saw a dizzying parade of developments in almost every field.  Suddenly there were machines for everything from sewing to locomotion, and I suppose that something of that almost magical essence remains present in the cast iron of printing presses, steam engines and so on.
There's a sense in which that level of technology is ageless; if something breaks any semi competant engineer can figure out what's gone wrong and then fix it.  If we are no longer able to generate sufficient electricity it won't matter, as these machines were never designed with electricity in mind.  There are no silicon chips.
There's also the problem of mathematics and the binary nature of digital technology.  Digits are what we have attempted to replace everything with, but the things, objects, and aesthetics we are demanding were never digital to begin with, and something unnameable in the human spirit is well aware of this. People instinctively prefer the human-generated curves of a classic car; the sweep of the arm is more beautiful than a digitally created vector.
I could go on and on, but I have now put on my tshirt that says DON'T GET ME STARTED'.

To be continued...

Stanley Donwood & Paul Laidler, Artists studio (2013). 
Photography by Verity Lewis (more images available here)

A quick overview of the production

The engraved editions (February Holloway & Wait here we will come for you) were developed from two separate pencil and ink drawings that the artist had produced prior to discussing any potential editioning of the images. In this instance the CFPR Editions team were supplied with high res scans of the drawings that were then digitally adjusted for the laser cutting process. As part of the proofing procedure the digital files were engraved in to a number of paper substrates that produced varying tactile and tonal qualities - through different paper manufacturers, weights and colours. This paper testing procedure offered a number of qualitative material considerations for the engraved image and gave the first indications as to how certain hand drawn qualities had been recorded, translated and rendered for the new eidtioned work. Once the paper tests were complete the digital files were then rendered  as 'raster engravings' - taking around 6 hours to cut and produced as a limited edition of 6 artworks on paper. 

Upon viewing the completed raster engravings Donwood commented that, ‘the results are quite mesmerising; to me it looks as if trained paper-eating bacteria have been told to make a picture. The vaporised images look very organic.’ 

Technical laser bit 
The laser process uses carbon dioxide that is excited in a chamber. Emerging as light from an aperture in the chamber, the beam is focused by a series of mirrors, a lens and through a nozzle down to a thickness of approximately 0.2mm. When the beam comes in to contact with a material it cuts through by vaporising it. The nozzle moves across the surface of the material on an x and y axis that allows designs to be cut or engraved with a high level of accuracy and complexity in a variety of materials. In summary this specific laser cutting technology involves the use of a powerful laser to cut, etch or engrave into textiles, paper, card, plastics, vinyls, glass and some types of wood. A computer controls the path of the laser over the bed to melt, burn or vaporise the material.

Stanley Donwood signing the edition at the Centre for Fine Print Research, Bristol (2013) 

Gentle reminder to follow....
Both works are being exhibited as part of Donwood’s solo show at The Outsiders Gallery, 8 Greek Street, Soho, London between September 20th and October 19. As original multiples the work will be simultaneously exhibited at Multiplied Contemporary Art in Editions Fair at Christies, London 18th – 21st October 2013.

CFPR Editions would like to thank Verity Lewis for her assistance with editioning, documenting, marketing and over all enthusiastic contribution to the project. Also Sarah Barnes and Tom Sowden for their technical advise with the laser cutting process.
We would also like to say a special thank you to Stanley Donwood for his poetic engagement with the translation process and general enthusiasm around the possibilities for the work - that made the collaborative relationship all the more enriching for the editions team.

Thursday 5 September 2013

Packed & Unpacked with Impact

Just Press Print Exhibition, Impact 8 Printmaking Conference, Dundee Scotland, Curated by Paul Laidler

This years Impact 8 Printmaking Conference in Dundee, Scotland brought together a wealth of national and international contributors. As part of this biennial event the conference presented a wide range of activities, papers, talks and exhibitions that successfully celebrated the diverse nature of the discipline and its cohorts.

CFPR Editions contribution to the conference was the second installment of the Just Press Print exhibition. For those that may not know the exhibition focused on collaborative digital print studio practices at the CFPR and the introduction of new technologies within a predominantly mechanically defined discipline. In this context the exhibition sort to explore the broadening possibilities for the graphic artefact in the digital age by foregrounding the printed matter and conversations that both inform and reveal the physical renderings of the ‘push button’ process. 

Roy Voss, Explorer 2012 & Paul Coldwell, Lines & Branches 2012

Cecilia Mandrile, The Desert Inside (Night) & The Desert Inside (Day), 2013

Printed artworks in the exhibition included Arthur Buxton’s inkjet printed Vogue covers that utilises open source software to sample the five most prominent colours of the international magazine over the last 30 years. Cecilia Mandrile's hand stitched prints from her Betweening installation works and Richard Falle's latest vector based icecream disaster images. Other works included Paul Coldwell’s Lines and Branches prints that revisit relief printing through the laser engraved matrix and Gordon Cheung's 3D printed tulip bulb series. To a view additional images from the exhibition please visit our Impact 8 flickr set.

Andrew Super Impact 8 Illustrated Talk: Beyond the Flatlands: Print-making / Film-making

The Impact 8 Conference also saw CFPR Editions artist Andrew Super present an illustrated talk entitled Romanticising YouTube: Digital Sublimity Through Print. Andrews talk discussed notions of perception, time and mediation as part of his image making practice before presenting his recent UV printed inkjet edition series (Non) Graphic Images of Violence.

Just Press Print install at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design 2013

CFPR Editions would like to thank all its artists who's collaborative work at the CFPR made the exhibition possible. We would also like to say a special thank you to CFPR Research Administrator Jesse Heckstall-Smith (in above photographs) and Andrew Super for assisting with the install and take down and not forgetting Adam & Linsay Proctor for helping with transportation.

Tuesday 7 May 2013


We are delighted to share our recent news that CFPR Editions artist Richard Falle has been selected for New Prints/ New Narratives: Summer 2013, the forty-fifth presentation of IPCNYs New Prints Programme.

Selected from over 2,400 submissions, Richard's print, Ice Cream Inferno, was chosen along with the work of only 54 other artists, by Professor of Printmaking at Rhode Island School of Design, Andrew Raftery. The exhibition will be on display at the International Print Centre New York from June 13th- August 9th, 2013.

Richard Falle, Ice Cream Inferno (2012) Pigmented Inkjet Print

Vector based construction for Richard Falle's Ice Cream Inferno (2012)

Richard's incredibly detailed and slightly absurd print is part of a print series editioned within CFPR Editions. The print series are digital vector images drawn entirely within Adobe Illustrator and printed using inkjet technology. The painterly subtlety has been achieved principally using layers of blended colours filtered through transparency masks. Part of the enjoyment that the artist gleans whilst creating the artwork, is afforded by the challenge of overcoming the limitations of vector based drawing to create nuances of tone and transparency normally associated with pixel based imagery.

The artists in the show include: Lynne Allen, Kathy Aoki, Miguel Aragon, Katie Baldwin, Kristin Becker, Mildred Beltre, Allison Bianco, Douglas Bick, Doug Bosely, Alice Leora Briggs, Veronica Ceci, Liz Chalfin, Ann Chernow, Nick Conbere, Madeline D’Aversa, Amze Emmons, Erin Woodbrey, Leslie Golomb, Art Hazelwood, Ellen Heck, Marco Hernandez, Yuji Hiratsuka, Jill Ho-You, Erik Hougen, Cary Hulbert, Jon Irving, Hans Johansson, Gabriela Jolowicz, Mehrdad Khataei, Joyce Kozloff, Brian Kreydatus, Dinh Q. Le, Jim Lee, Kate Logue, Joseph Lupo, Nicole Maloof, Michael Menchaca, Nathaniel Stern and Jessica Meuninck-Ganger, Florent Morellet, Kurt Pammer, Ryan Parker, Ester Parteg├ás, Lynn Peterfreund, Kahlil Rintye, Jenny Robinson, Bill Salzillo, Hannah March Sanders, Jesse Shaw, Dan Steeves, Ivanco Talevski, Matthew Van Asselt, Art Werger, George Whitman, Michelle Wilson, and our very own, Richard Falle.

Six presses and publishers will be represented at the show, of which CFPR is proud to be the only one based within The UK.

Wednesday 13 March 2013

The seed of an idea realised

CFPR Editions is pleased to announce that we have recently complete the first 3D printed bulb series for the artist Gordon Cheung. By using an Identica dental scanner (with assistance from Robert Keogh at 3dScan Alliance in Bristol) we were able to record the three dimensional surface of a tulip bulb. The capture data was then used to create five separate files as part of a devolutionary print series. 

In the photographic recording above you can see the five devolutionary stages of the bulb that begins with the original high resolution 3D recording on the left (constructed of 381,774 triangles) toward the simplification or decimation of the object as a pyramid structure on the right. Before the printing process begins the 3D files are set to a specific number of triangles that are then 'cleaned' (by adding or subtracting triangles in a 3D software program) to make sure that the model is 'water tight' for the printing process. The print ready object is then uploaded to the 3D print on demand company imaterialise to complete the process. 

The company is able to render 3D files in a range of materials and in this instance the model is 3D printed in wax then dipped into a ceramic slip - an ancient process known as lost wax casting. The ceramic coated bulb is then baked in an oven that melts the wax whilst hardening the ceramic exterior, creating a shell that is then filled with molten brass. The brass is then plated to have an 18kt goldish appearance. 

The relevance of the tulip bulb for the series refers to the Rothschild bulb that was selected by the artist whilst visiting Amsterdam earlier this year. The artist explains that the bulb is named after one of the most powerful banking family dynasties in history and therefore a principle player in spreading Capitalism globally. More examples of Gordon Cheung's work and activities can be found on his website here.

Collaborative print team contributors include: Peter Walters, Robert Keogh, Gordon Cheung and Paul Laidler

Monday 14 January 2013

Between Editioning

Artist Cecilia Mandrile at The CFPR Digital Print Studio

New York based artist Cecilia Mandrile has recently been working with CFPR Editions to produce a series of prints that explore differing approaches to printing and constructing image translucency. By using a UV printer the initial proofing process will develop multiple pass print methods and substrate layering options enabling the possibility of using white ink and novel substrate options (such as glassine paper). The breadth of the project may include around five separate editioned prints that are part of an ongoing series of works entitled Betweening. 
The following text has been provided by the artist as a means to offer a contextual background to the work whilst illustrating the varying way's in which the artist revisits the same imagery through different processes.

Betweening Project Background 
In the language of animation, to tween means to have a change made between two objects. In this way, moving, morphing, transforming, One becomes OneOther. Following this concept, Betweening, a traveling and practice based research, focuses in the sense of incomplete-ness experienced along that transition process. 
Betweening, emerges as a response to my recent experiences living and working in Middle East as a traveling South American woman artist, and through this, a continuation on my rehearsing of visual translations of displacement. Living and working in Jordan, I had the opportunity of dialoguing with local artists and writers, as well as being adopted by a Bedouin family. 
Throughout this experience, I intended to provide some understanding to my effortless adaptation and adoption of this place of the world as another ‘home’: a place where the concept of displacement is felt from inside every day, where doors do not close, they simply lean against their frame; a context in which the refuge is made, unmade and remade every day. The desert here is found as a ‘space’ where, even without an apparent common language, communication could be profound. 
This research intends to unveil and articulate the discovering of ‘intersections’ between Latin American and Arab culture; with particular reference to the poetic battle established in the encounters between Bedouins as well as among Gauchos (the vanishing nomadic cattle herder of the Pampas). Based in the ‘word war’ practiced between nomadic oral poets, both in South America and in the Arab World, I intend to articulate the motivations and intentions of a form of communication that is established between two other-nesses in a space of blurred frontiers, where the nomads are forced to settle, and settled ones, to become nomads. 

Cecilia Mandrile, Betweening project exhibited 2012

Betweening (The Desert Inside) is a series of narratives of unsent photogram- postcards based in the dialogue of a surviving doll carried along my last journeys and stones found during my traveling along two deserts: Wadi Rum in Jordan, and Jujuy in Argentina. 
These stone and doll based-photograms are also the based for a series of “betweenoscopes” I am developing at the moment. Allowing a dialogue between “settled” images and “passing” visitors, through the spinning of these praxoniscope-based artifacts, still photograms recover the lost sense of movement.

Cecilia Mandrile, Betweening project exhibited 2012

Fragments from recent essays about this project:

From “A Life in Translation”, essay to be published in The Translation of a Wound, retrospective catalogue)

“Perhaps the most complete expression of the guiding themes of Mandrile’s work can be found in the ongoing project Betweening (One Other) begun in 2007 to explore the intersections between nomadic practices in different cultures. Nomadic peoples are an anachronism in the modern world, which is structured by fixing people in place and policing their movements by means of  borders. Governments and settled communities mistrust and fear nomads – the Bedouin in Israel and the Occupied Territories, the Roma across Europe, Irish Travellers in the UK – regarding them as definitively and dangerously ‘other’. The project began whilst Mandrile was living and working in Jordan, where she was adopted by a local Bedouin family, and she in turn adopted this place, where ‘home’ itself is something to be constantly renegotiated and reconstructed, and where displacement is internalised. For Mandrile this offered the opportunity to explore intersections between Arab and Latin American cultures as represented in the lives of the Bedouin and the Gauchos (the vanishing nomadic cattle herders of the pampas). The work generated by this project takes several forms, comprising photograms (featuring the dolls again) output as digital prints from which various narratives are constructed. A series of unsent postcards suggest failures to communicate and connect; indeed they complicate the idea of ‘home’ and where that might be, reminding us that the artist is now always ‘between’ places, and ‘home’ is now a concept anchored in the work. The postcards are also elements of a praxinoscope (a simple animation device which Mandrile has renamed a ‘betweenoscope’) in which the images are given the illusion of movement.” 

Gill Saunders

Senior Curator (Prints)

Victoria & Albert Museum, London

November 2012

From New Heaven exhibition publication at Seton Art Gallery, New Haven University. November/December 2012

“After a life changing illness, Mandrile’s work has undergone a fundamental change. Her self-portrait now yields to ghostly images, developed as photograms. Very much resembling the dolls she once possessed, these images become in turn the base of a praxinoscope—which she titled Betweenoscope. This proto-cinema device is here a substitute for those sensorial aspects that the dolls had. This ultimate attempt to animate the images only emphasizes their immateriality. These are merely shadows of what once was; shadows of an otherworldly light: the light of a New Heaven. “ 

Elvis Fuentes (Curator, El Museo del Barrio, New York City)

Saturday 12 January 2013

Its all about page 55

Art Review Multiples e-supplement Nov 2012

If you missed the printed version of Art Reviews Multiple supplement in their November 2012 issue then  you will be pleased to find out that the publication is now available as an ePublication through zmags
As the publication title suggest's, 'art as multiple is reviewed' but perhaps more importantly the content reinvigorates and reminds us what can be considered as an editioned artefact and subsequently where the parameters of the printmaking discipline may lie. 

AR Multiples Mission Statement:
Here at Art Review we believe that the experience of art is not something that should be limited to more-or-less dusty museums or the warehouses of supercollectors. Art is something that can play a vital role in inspiring a richer, more profound understanding of human experience, culture and society today. With that in mind, this publication takes an overview of artworks issued in series and designed to be collected and enjoyed by a wide audience.

Remember to pay a visit to page 55 and view the CFPR Editions advertisement page (designed by our intern Verity Lewis).