The Rest is Silence
Contemporary Printmaking by Lisa Feyen
Date: Oct 12 – Oct 26Space: Small Gallery
Printmakers are curious people. They constantly ask questions; ‘what happens if… ‘ or ‘what happens when… ‘
Printmaking is a process driven craft. The process often informs the work, and the work informs the process. Lisa Feyen is an artist drawn to the materiality of working this way, and the constant discovery as each print is painstakingly lifted from the press. This in turn leads her in new directions, and allows an experimental approach that ensures her practice stays fresh, while continually expanding the technical knowledge that is integral to the medium.
Lisa likes to be challenged, and printmaking provides that. The variety of techniques available to investigate, and the possibilities it presents are seemingly limitless. In this body of work, found materials are combined with soft and hard surfaces in the creation of 2D and 3D work, demonstrating the progression of her studio process.
In this exhibition of Feyen’s printmaking, entitled ‘The Rest is Silence’ she references the purpose and poignancy of photography in our world. The concepts of time, memory and language interweave with the notion of record keeping and self-retrospection.
Moments are constantly captured and documented with cameras. How important is this documentation, when the people contained in these images are no longer remembered? Physical photographs fade like memories, and likewise digital photographs will sleep in the ether, allowing context to dissipate. A small death, or silence, as each connection is lost. Yet the photograph remains an aesthetic object of value and fascination to many, a ‘time capsule’ open to endless speculation;
‘The camera makes reality atomic, manageable and opaque. It is a view of the world which denies interconnectedness, continuity, and which confers on each moment the character of mystery. Any photograph has multiple meanings; indeed, to see something in the form of a photograph is to encounter a potential object of fascination. The ultimate wisdom of the photographic image is to say: “There is the surface. Now think – or rather feel, intuit – what is beyond it, what the reality must be like if it looks this way.” Photographs, which cannot themselves explain anything, are inexhaustible invitations to deduction, speculation and fantasy.’
(Sontag, 1977. p. 23)
Feyen collects the vintage remnants of lost memories; physical photographs that were once treasured possessions now sold in junk shops, and forms new contexts for the subjects in her work. The viewer may ask ‘who is this?’ but what’s more important to the artist is that the subject is unknown, and each work presented as a ‘memento mori’ of another questionable place and time, placed within a contemporary context.
Please join Lisa at the CAN on Friday 12 October, 5-7pm for the opening of The Rest is Silence, her first solo exhibition since graduating Ideaschool, EIT in 2016. All welcome! Refreshments will be served.
Lisa will also be at the gallery on Saturday 13 October, 12-4pm working as artist in residence to demonstrate the print process with several examples of her plates, using the CAN etching press. Please feel welcome to come along and find out more about her process.
Sontag, S.(1977). On Photography. London: Penguin Group.
Originally from England, Lisa Feyen graduated from design school and commenced her career as a Display Designer at Harrods in London. This career choice eventually brought her to Wellington, New Zealand, to work at Kirkcaldie and Stains Ltd in the late nineties. Lisa now lives with her Kiwi husband and children in Napier, where she completed a BVAD at Ideaschool in 2015. Printmaking is Lisa’s passion, which she loves to share by tutoring occasionally at EIT and CAN, and by coordinating the ‘Hawke’s Bay Inkers’ group of community printmakers.