The Expanded Field of Printmaking
Selected Townsville artists worked in collaboration to experiment with innovative and alternative methods of making prints taking their work into the expanded field of printmaking.
Mulcahy used a combination of old and new monoprint techniques to explore and highlight the delicacy and complexity of our natural environment.
In the Fragments series, impressions, taken from relief carvings and delicate bits of native flora are used to create prints on wafer thin pieces of porcelain paste. The paste is then dried and fired to a high temperature to develop the desired translucency. The resultant fine impressed images only become fully visible when lit from beneath.
The Carbon Trap series utilises a variety of image transfer methods, including silk-screened tissue transfers, dried oxide washes, and impressions created by plant matter to create a series of images that require intense heat to complete their integration into the clay body.
The works are fired to 950 degrees centigrade in a sagger (closed container) filled with organic matter. The heat, coupled with the burning organic matter, creates an atmosphere where the oxygen within the saggar is reduced thus facilitating the transfer of the image from one ceramic surface to another as the plant turns to charcoal releasing a film of carbon in the shape of the plant. The tissue transfer images are obtained when the oxides in the ink volatise with the heat transferring colour from one piece to another.