Flora McLachlan RE

Ivy Berries - hand-coloured etching

Exquisite dream-like etchings inspired by myth, fairy tale and legend, by this highly successful printmaker..

Flora McLachlan studied art at Brighton Colledge and went on to complete an MA in English Literature at Brasnose College, Oxford. She has exhibited widely and is the winner of a number of prestigious awards. 

She writes: "For the past year I have been exploring my sense of the mythical and archetypal elements of landscape found in the storytelling tradition. The motif of the transformative quest in folk and fairy tales informs my landscapes. In the mind, the wild forest looms as a place of trial and transformation, of refuge and ordeal, where myths breed, where unicorns run and where golden apples grow. Its personages, wild beasts, witches, knights, druids, spirits and dark shapes, wander above the matted roots. The perilous chapel or the witch’s hut are places of testing, of change; the line between sanctuary and prison is uncertain. The idea of the ‘interior’, a vast wilderness or forest as an un-mappable, trackless entity, has always fascinated me. Its scientific presence, with teeming networks of fungi living in symbiosis with a community of trees, is also beautiful to think of. It is a breathing creature. It is a tangle of stories. It seems to have no definite boundary but like Mirkwood in The Hobbit its atmosphere in your imagination is unmistakable, and its shadows stretch all the way to the city walls.

I frame my search through the woods within my interaction with the print matrix, whether metal plate or limestone block, responding to its nature, and how my materials mark it, to dream the image into being. I have been exploring unfamiliar processes and materials within etching and lithography, to mirror within my practice the quest into a pathless forest."

Recent Exhibitions include:

In the forests of the night, solo show at Aberystwyth School of Art Gallery, 2019
The Masters: Lithography at Bankside Gallery, London, 2018
National Original Print Exhibition at Bankside Gallery, London, 2018 & 2019
Sarah Wiseman Gallery, Oxford, December 2017
In the night forest solo show at Cambridge Contemporary Art, October 2017
Hicks Gallery at The Affordable Art Fair, London, March 2017
Prints selected by Norman Ackroyd RA for ‘RA in Yorkshire’ at Zillah Bell Gallery, 2014
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, 2014


Awards and Collections:

First Prize, 2019 Remarque International Juried Print Exhibition, Albuquerque, NM, USA
Norman Ackroyd Prize for Etching, Impressions Printmaking Biennial 2019, Galway, Ireland
Printmakers’ Printmaker at Printfest 2019
Winner of 2019 Bursary for residency at Stiwdio Maelor, Corris, Wales
Selected for RE ‘Print Rebels’ portfolio and touring exhibition, 2018
Saxa Loquuntur Lithography Residency, Marcilhac-sur-Célé, France, 2018
Zenith Purchase Prize, RE Summer Exhibition 2012
Canns Down Press Prize, RE Original Prints, 2014
Collection of HM the Queen
Collection of British Museum
Aberystwyth School of Art Collection


Method of Working:

When I make etchings, I bite the plate deeply then use sandpaper to attack and sculpt the plate surface until the atmosphere is right. Once I’ve created the terrain, I add shadows and weathers using spit bite aquatint, painting the acid on like watercolour.
In contrast, when working with lithography I watch the flow of the washes on the stone and follow the idea onwards as I draw, adding pen and ink drawing and scraping away areas to slowly build the image out of the marks that happen. These contrasting approaches express my lyrical response to landscape.

 

Midsummer - limited edition etching

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