Jian Zhou curated the show at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou as part of Impact 9 Printmaking Conference 2015. The show is now open at Times Art Museum, Beijing and will be touring to Changsha and Shanghai later in the year. My piece, ‘They were Hanging There’ (2015) above is now part of the International Collection at the National Museum of Art, Beijing.
From the series of photo-etchings exposed and developed on the banks of the Paraná with water from the river. The last known resting place of thousands of Argentina’s political disappeared during the Dirty War, the plates are embued with the dna of these lost lives, while the iron rich waters serve to hide in their depths the fragments of their history.
The title refers to the fact that new evidence has emerged in recent years stating that islanders in the Delta region of Argentina lived for years during the Dirty War (1976-83) with bodies hanging from trees as military planes dropped them drugged and still alive into the depths of the river below. The ethereal beauty of the place belies its traumatic history.
This piece has been acquired by the China National Art Museum in Beijing, and is currently on show in Intersecting Practice of Contemporary Printmaking in the UK, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou
From the series on the Paraná- micro residencia, Tigre, Argentina
Looking at aspects of landscape as construct and the reversible nature of print, I am working with new combination photo-etchings and digital prints to think through these ideas in a large scale. As my microresidency in Argentina approaches (Parana river workshops and ACE residency) these prints start to work with the physical intervention of place in the image:
This piece was chosen for the Neo: Print Prize exhibition 2014 (open till 2nd November) and received a little mention in: http://www.karenjoyce01.com/blog/the-2014-neo-print-prize:
“Lots to like here, though I didn’t particularly go for any of the prize prints. I don’t expect to – I’m never going to be a cutting edge sort of a person, in what I do or what I like, and so what? My own particular favourite was Barbara Ann Swan‘s ‘DNA Women’ – I stood in front of it for ages, studying the riveting selection of body parts. Loved it. I liked the strips of film way of hanging it, trailing on to the floor, too.
Karen Joyce writes, ‘I also really liked Rosey Prince’s Elephant (with yellow wall) for its lovely combination of saturated colour with obviously black and white, Victoria Ahrens’ rich Home Front, Fiona Grady’s Arcs I-V as they quietly developed across the set, and the non-prizewinning work by Susan Eyre, Paradise Row SW4 for that lovely, sly flash of colour in amongst the shades of grey’
A review of the show Publish/Curate at TJ Boulting Gallery this August in Photofusion, with a small mention of my work.
‘The most notable curated presentation of work in my opinion is the images chosen by Alic Janta, co-editior of Adad Books, where we see a collection of work by different artists, all fitting especially well together. They all seem to have in common the exploration of printing processes and alternative presentation, in a way reflecting the perhaps most visible book in their shop, Far, by Emile Hyperion. Janta has been especially successful with the selection of work by Whitney McVeigh, Victorie Thieree, Victoria Ahrens, David Noonan, and I would have loved to enter Adad Books’ website to see publications by all these artists and more, as a special and unique approach to alternative presentation also in book form.’ Marianne Bjørnmyr
Beautifully curated exhibition at Balzac’s Print Rooms in the lovely St Germain arrondissment of Paris. This exhibition that I was asked to show in will now be coming to London, to the TJ Boulting Gallery:
TRACES, a group show part of HONORE.
This exhibition is taking place in Balzac’s former printing workshop on Rue de Visconti, in Paris and will present the work of artists who have been exploring various techniques such as lithography, photo-etching, collotype, biro-drawing, digitally processed photography, screen-printing, mono-print, photogram, transfer, etc and attempting to get new results, whether they have developed their own process or have kept in line with classical tradition of printing and drawing and who have as a result created interesting textural works.
This show presented alongside exhibitions by Hannah Watson from Trolley Books and Aron Morel from Morel Books, features works by:
ADELINE DE MONSEIGNAT
ELOISE VAN DER HEYDEN
WHITNEY McVEIGH and
Private view: Wednesday 18th June from 7pm.
Thursday 19th – Saturday 21th, noon till 8 pm
17-19 Rue de Visconti, 75006 Paris
PRINT DIALOGUES at the Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck School of Art, 43 Gordon Square, WC1H
1st May- 10th May 2014
2nd May: 4pm artist talk
6th May: 6pm round table discussion with Dr. Gabriel Koureas, Dr. Patrizia di Bello and Professor Paul Coldwell
Print Dialogues is an exhibition of lens-based work by the artist and researcher VICTORIA AHRENS. Her work explores the intersection between photography and printmaking in the depiction of the lost landscape. Working initially from rediscovered analogue snapshots of the river, she reworks the imagery through various screens, questioning the fragmentary nature of memory and the possibility of the ruin in her contemporary print installations.
Supported by Birkbeck School of Art and the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre
Article in Printmaking Today: Perfect Purchase, with a review of the Clifford Chance Purchase Prize I won in November 2013. The prize means one of my prints becomes a part of the one of the largest print collections in Britain. It was selected by Emma Stibbon RA who ‘was impressed with the quality of her print installation. Stibbon said Ahrens’ work ‘alludes to the history of landscape art, the picturesque, but re-invents it into something surprising.’
Arkadia (2013)C-type Print of press transferred film stills, on copy paper 300 cm x 120 cm
Selected for this show by Nigel Frank to represent Postgraduate Printmaking in London- the show opens on 13th November on the 30th Floor Gallery. Also showing are Paula Bourke-Girgis, Joanna Brinton, Jude Cowan Montague, Hanne Lillee, Leah Miller-Biot, Michael O’Reilly, Yanna Soares, Georgina Tate, Ines Tavares, and Nicola Thomas. I was selected as the Clifford Chance Purchase Prize Winner 2013.
Pushing Print festival in Margate 2013, with exhibitions at the Pie Factory and Margate Gallery. My work was selected for the Pie Factory and I was pleased with the display and feedback. Margate, having never been before, proved to be a quirky place with, as Turner would have us believe, spectacular skies:
Naipi and Taroba (2013) Projection of waterfall, backwards on hand made book cover
Installation of four digital prints, two projections, 600 newspapers
Although I have worked with this image before, here I was interested in re-fragmenting the piece into its constituent parts. The idea of the banner has an interesting etymology from bandum (Latin), for the cloth that is made into a flag. But it also is the basis of the word abandon which is ‘against the bandum’ or to be disloyal or disobey orders of the flag (of authority)- these banners are, therefore, banners of abandon. There is a lovely correlation between the initial ideas and the format in relation to this concept of abandoned spaces/ the political dimension: the history of the use of banners in May Day processions/ by trades unions in the 19th/ early 20th century – where the environment was being changed forever by the industrial revolution, with new mills, factories and mines. The use of banners in commercial printmaking for all kinds of uses also connects the work to both the history of printmaking as well as the its use in contemporary advertising etc- Here the banners allude to the arbitrary division of geographical borders and the loss of the our relationship to the environment. This piece won an award from the Printmakers Council 2013.
I have wanted to make a book using some of the images I have been producing during the last year. Here it is- finally finished- The Lost Exploitation Journals. I have created 600 newspapers, and 5 editions in hard back for sale-this is a culmination of ideas using abstracted imagery from film stills, transferring the images through the press and then scanning them to print them onto A3 Fabriano paper. There are small clues throughout that tell you something about its content, small geological phrases and cartographic coordinates- here are a few of the pages:
Here is the newspaper version:
ALMA- this image is of ‘The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile, is the largest astronomical project in existence. ALMA will be a single telescope of revolutionary design, composed initially of 66 high precision antennas located on the Chajnantor plateau, 5000 meters altitude in northern Chile.’ (http://www.almaobservatory.org/)
Alma also when read as one word, means SOUL. I thought this was appropriate for my project about the Atacama, where these telescopes hide in the middle of the desert behind a mountain range. I used found images to create a photo etching on two plates. The etching will be part of a series on this technological landscape that is mapping the heavens in an unprecedented way- to find the origins of life and the universe.
These smaller prints are now being turned into a large 100 cm x 70 cm photoetching. Its the largest plate that can go through the presses at Camberwell, and the largest plate I have ever attempted. Just exposing it, and developing it in itself poses all kinds of challenges. I have now started to print them using a velvety black RSR ink- it takes about an hour to ink up the plate and polish it before pulling the print. Here is the process as it happened:
This print has been the most enjoyable piece for me- hard work in the heat of the Summer in the print workshop, but very satisfying. Tried it on Hahnemule paper at first, but once I put this up against the wall i realized I needed a whiter paper- have now printed an edition of 5 on Fabriano white, which have come out really well.