Printer? Painter? Maker? by Bronwen Paterson


By Bronwen Paterson

As an artist I am constantly trying to find a ‘recipe’ that best allows me to express myself succinctly. This can either be through the subject I choose or the materials I use. I am also trying to decode what it is I am hoping to say. As an artist should your message be depicted in such a way that is visually obvious for the viewer to interpret; or can you just enjoy the process of making on an intuitive level and present whatever has emerged? Do you need to create a rigid identity,  one that allows people to immediately recognise that the work is yours?  Is it important to develop a coherent body of work or does it matter whether your work is constantly changing and in doing so surely evolving? I am sure many artists find themselves in this quandary- Who am I and where am I going?!

'Found fragment' (Blue Mosque) - 52cm x 48.5cm - hand-coloured screenprint
‘Found fragment’ (Blue Mosque) – 52cm x 48.5cm – hand-coloured screenprint

I am originally from South Africa. I have a rich library of memories and experiences from my growing up there.  These are deeply rooted in me. This and the strong intimacy I feel for the country are both the inspiration from which I draw from. It is apparent in the objects and forms I choose to represent. I am captivated by nature, the organic shapes and textures, the pure beauty found in its varying forms. I enjoy finding objects – little things that others would find inconspicuous. I present them alone, printed on a grand scale, glorifying their hiddenness. Items such as a shell, a wasp nest, a patterned fragment of pottery or a bone are unveiled. In doing so I hope to show the viewer what it is they fail to notice. I am drawn visually and symbolically to this stimulus and feel it embodies all that I find beautiful and precious.

'Corporeal and Incorporeal' - 42cmx 42cm - hand coloured screenprint and collage
‘Corporeal and Incorporeal’ – 42cmx 42cm – hand coloured screenprint and collage

I like to experiment with printing onto different materials. Besides paper, I have also printed onto Perspex, fabric, plastics, and wood. I am intrigued at how each surface reveals a different dimension to the printed image. I like to contrast flat with busy, matt with shiny and by using these varying materials it allows for diverse results. My process involves layering. I like to combine one or more print method, such as Screenprint overlaid with Monoprint or vice versa. In addition I also paint, collage, varnish, cut, sew and fix or attach shapes to or over one another. This results in rich and highly textured surfaces.

'Ghost Bone' - 28cm x 28cm - screenprint and monoprint
‘Ghost Bone’ – 28cm x 28cm – screenprint and monoprint

Through experimentation, trial and error my journey is long and ever changing. I am driven by the hope of eventually being satisfied!

'Amulets' - 10cm x 10cm - screenprint and monoprint
‘Amulets’ – 10cm x 10cm – screenprint and monoprint


See more of Bronwen’s work on her artists page here

'Trophy' - 130 cm x 70cm - screenprinted perspex
‘Trophy’ – 130 cm x 70cm – screenprinted perspex










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