Transgressing and investigating the English and Welsh divide, new art exhibit in Mold’s Theatr Clwyd, Pushing The Boundaries, features work from six printmakers and one printmaker/enameller: Emma Aldridge, Alison Craig, Jacqui Dodds, Caroline Hudson, Jill Leventon, Christine Matthews and Estella Scholes. The practitioners are not just boundary-pushing within the gallery space of Theatr Clwyd, though. In order to produce the varied range of works on display, they were sent out to walk the actual boundaries between England and Wales, known as the Marches, as a group – from the southern border straddling counties Monmouthshire and Herefordshire to the northern neighbours Flintshire and Cheshire; divides that are geographical, sociological and ancient.
Starting in 2019, even the act of traversing the outdoors fell victim to last year’s lockdown, but its subsequent and continued easing has enabled the artists to pick up where they left off. “My prints explore the tender and mischievous relationship I have with the world I inhabit,” Emma Aldridge, who contributes six 10cm etchings to the exhibition, says. “No image is entirely the same within the short editions I produce; they all have their own character.” Contrasting Aldridge’s monochrome, figurative approach, Alison Craig specialises in abstract, observational drawings that blend a multitude of textures to achieve something more ephemeral. “I make drawings on the move outside, transforming my observation of the real world into a kind of map. Rather than accurately reproducing the way things looked, I try to suggest how it felt to be travelling through the landscape.”
Screenprinter Jacqui Dodds prefers to work from memory than in the moment. “My practice revolves around memories of places visited and objects within them. Using images, history, and feelings of these spaces, I then retrace and create an essence in print and painting.” Her striking sense of colour has a touch of pop art about it, usually a given thanks to Andy Warhol’s synonymity with the medium, but there’s more of the selective delicacy of an impressionist here than a pop artist’s boldness: the landscapes Dodds presents are just fragments or echoes of a particular time and space. For the full map, head to this address.
Theatr Clwyd, Mold, until Sat 15 Jan
Admission: free. Info: here
words HANNAH COLLINS
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