A glimpse into the life of a printmaker: Q&A with artist Christine Sloman
Long-time Edinburgh Printmakers member and artist Christine Sloman gives us a glimpse into the life of a printmaker, discussing her practice and inspiration as an artist and sharing her thoughts on the new Castle Mills studio.
Christine in the Castle Mills studio.
Tell us about your work as an artist.
Much of my recent work - both printmaking and artist books - has been inspired by photography, particularly old, found images. Some of my work references photographic images directly, the rest is more oblique. I have a large collection of found photographs and they fascinate me because, while supposedly permanent records, the identity of their subjects and the associated memories have often been lost. So, what are they permanent records of - lost memories? Also, in printmaking there is an echo of the repetitive nature of photographic production: a unique moment that can be reproduced many times. I work in monotype and occasionally in etching and plate lithography. I love to experiment in the studio and monotype is a wonderfully spontaneous medium for exploration. The scope for texture and mark-making is infinite - every time I make a monotype I discover something new. Sometimes I get so caught up in the process that I forget what I was originally supposed to be doing.
Along the Riverbank_Concertina binding consisting of 16 direct press prints of botanical samples made for the Deluge exhibition here at EP, October 2018
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on an artist book. It is a small pocket book with six images tucked into the pockets. The images are a mixture of monotypes and photographs reproduced as plate lithographs. The inspiration behind the book is twofold; a set of photographs of an unknown Russian child, and a quote by the poet Anna Akhmatova.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I love looking at very early photography and am particularly drawn to Daguerrotypes where the plates have been partially eroded by time. There is something so poignant about these ghostly images.
Do you have a favourite piece of printmaking?
I don’t have a favourite print - that’s too difficult a question, but - off the top of my head - I love the work of Susan Derges, Victoria Ahrens, Hiroshi Senju, Callum Innes and Susie Wilson, to name a few.
Tell us about what you do when you are not making art?
Work-wise, I take on paper conservation and box-making commissions, particularly for book collectors, but you’ll also see me in the studio from time to time on duty as a technician.
To relax, I love making books for friends. I’m also an avid reader, walker and cinema enthusiast; I love a good art house film, the more obscure and esoteric, the better.
Also, I have three children. One is still at home, the other two live in London. I try to see them as often as possible, if I don’t I start getting a bit twitchy - I’m not sure how they feel.
Lost Voices (a foreign country)_2018_monotype with punched holes worked from found photograph
How long have you been a member at Edinburgh Printmakers?
I joined the studio about 7 years ago, although it took a couple of years for me to become a regular.
What’s your favourite memory as a member?
There isn’t one particular moment that stands out but, in the early days here it was the gradual realisation of what a friendly and supportive place this is. It’s also a place where I can indulge my inner print-making geek and no-one minds, maybe, they even get what I’m talking about….
What do you think of the new studio at Castle Mills?
I love the new studio, it’s a wonderfully light, airy space and a pleasure to work in. The building is outstanding, but EP is really about the fellow members and technicians. They make the place what it is.
Christine is currently showing work in the SSA/ VAS Open at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh and in the Utopia: What’s Yours exhibition in Kirkcudbright, again with the SSA. This spring she'll also be taking part in a show celebrating printmakers who make artist books in Colorado, as part of Mo’Print Denver.
To see more of Christine's work, make sure to visit her website and social media profiles.
Read more about our members:
Q&A with printmaker Matthew Wilson
Saltwater memories, Lotus binding with monotype, 2019
Lost Voices (a foreign country), 2018, monotype worked from found photograph