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Age-old printing methods brought to fore at new exhibition


Historically renowned hand printing methods that explore time and women’s journeys through time is coming to Pātaka Art + Museum in May.

Navigating Worlds, a new exhibition and workshop from print artist Prue MacDougall is coming exclusively to Pātaka’s Toi Gallery on 24 May.

The exhibition, the third time Prue has brought her art to the Toi Gallery, explores the theme of time, using well-known and historically significant printing methods.

“The show explores themes of journeying, both physically across the world and chronologically through time, and the effect such journeys have on our individual sense of identity.

“The artworks on show also use the female model as a reference point of all women’s journeys.

“I hope people who come to see the exhibition will respond to how the artworks portray New Zealand’s isolation down through the decades.”

Interest in MacDougall’s work ahead of the exhibition has already been strong, with a print workshop the artist will host at Pātaka on Sunday 26th May already sold out.

MacDougall said the artworks on show were hand-printed, limited edition 3D prints that utilise the technique of photopolymer intaglio printing.

Intaglio printmaking is a technique where ink is worked into grooves or depressions cut into a printing plate, and the paper is placed on top and then compressed onto the ink to make an image, MacDougall said.

Photopolymer printmaking is an intaglio technique in which a printing plate containing a light-sensitive resin is exposed to ultraviolet light.

“In many ways the final print using these methods mimic the labour-intensive and historically renowned copper plate printing process, however they are processed in a fraction of the time it would have taken many years ago.

With photopolymer printmaking artwork is created or copied onto a piece of transparent film, MacDougall said.

“A photopolymer plate is a metal plate with a light sensitive polymer surface.

“The film is laid on top of a plate then is exposed to sunlight or an artificial source of ultraviolet light and the plate is then developed in tap water. “

MacDougall said photopolymer is a relatively uncomplicated method of creating intaglio prints from both photographic and hand drawn images.

Pātaka Curator Community Exhibitions Emma Kitson said the exhibition was a sign of the growing interest in MacDougall’s unique and innovative work.

“We are delighted to be able to once again welcome Prue back to the Toi Gallery.

“This exhibition highlights how her profile as an artist and printmaker continues to go from strength to strength.”

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