Preview: Exhibition of 'Recent prints from Wiltshire & Italy' - by College's Head of Art Edward Twohig
The next exhibition in the Mount House Gallery is by Edward Twohig (Head of Art, Marlboorugh College) - ‘Recent prints from Wiltshire and Italy’. It opens on Frida,y 31st January. College student Esther Lambert went along for a preview.
Upholding Marlborough’s rich history of esteemed printmaker-teachers, such as Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956), Christopher Wyndham Hughes (1881-1961), Richard Shirley Smith (1935- ) and Simon Brett (1943- ), Edward Twohig has carefully curated a collection of his own drypoint etchings for display in the Mount House Gallery.
The exhibition - which opens on Friday, January 31 - offers an exciting glimpse of Italian landscape prints created last summer. I was fascinated by the way in which Twohig captures the extraordinary light that the searing hot summer produced and its effect on the scenery.
One of my favourite series was captured one Sunday afternoon in August during a thunderstorm in Mantua. The initial works are cleanly printed with subtle poetic lines, though as the series progresses the plate becomes more thoroughly worked, reminding the viewer of the animated, ongoing process within printmaking.
The prints darken and become more experimental, particularly with the introduction of surface marks drawn with sandpaper and the intriguing effects of white spirit, that repel the ink creating a mottled effect. In turn, this adds to the atmosphere of the prints that almost propels the viewer into the eye of the thunderstorm, creating an atmospheric ambiguity of where one form starts and another ends.
This series serves to demonstrate Twohig’s unconstrained style as he takes many inspirations from not only the sense of place that surrounds him but equally from Old Masters such as Rembrandt and Frank Short and contemporary printmakers such as Norman Ackroyd and Jason Hicklin.
Likewise, this diversity is also seen across his collection of prints made in Wiltshire, particularly drawing inspiration from the Master’s Garden, Chisbury and Savernake Forest.
From the plethora of prints that Twohig has created by visiting the garden every morning, November is one his favourites due to the tracery of the branches against the winter sky.
Aside from some conventional prints, Edward Twohig’s work also questions the traditions of printmaking; perhaps the first printer to use real crushed gold. The effect is remarkable as the scintillating, ethereal gold dust plays with the viewer’s vision, adding movement to the print.
Throughout all Edward Twohig’s work, he dispels the myth surrounding printing’s static, repetitive nature. Instead, his prints are filled with a spontaneous, creative energy, something he considers more in the realm of drawing as each print is individually crafted with an immense sense of freedom.
This exhibition is open to all and well worth a visit to the Mount House Gallery.
The exhibition is open until 14 February - full details here.