Bone Lino Print
The art of relief printing is something I have always found very aesthetically pleasing. Having never previously explored printing as a medium I took to printing quite quickly due to its rapid and complete results. The first type of printing I explored was Lino printing. The print is made by carving out the negative space on the sheets of linoleum with a carving tool. Leaving behind the marks or pattern that will create the print. I wanted to explore the translation of the subject of meat into print, so I chose to carve out the image of bones. The next stage of the print involved rolling out the ink. The oil-based ink is a highly pigmented, tacky substance, which is needed to be able to coat the printing plate and then continued to print onto a surface. The ink is rolled out with a large roller ensuring the ink is in an even coating. This is to ensure a clear print.
With my bone prints, I found these to be very successful, with the cartoon nature of the image contrasting with the usual visceral appearance of the meat. I completed a few on a small scale and onto a paper surface. Although these were successful I wanted to experiment with the scale of the print and the surface. I decided I wanted to use calico fabric as I have worked with the fabric before and knew it to be diverse in its capabilities. The calico I found to be very respondent to the printing technique. After testing onto a few scrap pieces, I scaled up the print firstly to a 1mx1m size piece of fabric. This looked interesting due to the individual prints of the bones being on a relatively small scale, grouped they formed a visual landscape that emanated an archaic sort of drawing. After this, I decided to layer the printed fabric with another form of print. But for this I didn’t use ink, I used meat. I left the meat, ( I used mince) on top of the fabric and let it form its relief. The first attempt at this, was not as effective as I had imagined, leaving faint brown marks atop of the bone prints. After this print, I decided I wanted to scale up again so changed it to an 8mx2m piece of calico. I repeated the same process obviously over a longer scale of time and repeated the meat relief printing that was not so successful during the first trial onto this piece. However, this time I used pieces of meat such as liver, and kidneys as they were richer in fluids and blood that would stain and print onto the fabric better. I left these for a couple of days, folded into the sheets so that the prints would become symmetrical. After I unfolded the sheet, I found the meat had printed very well and it emanated a similar appeal to the ‘Turin Shroud’.
The technique of Lino printing is something I would love to experiment with again, perhaps using different fabrics and surfaces to print upon.