I’ve been working on a new project – ‘Bird of the Month Lino Prints’ (for want of a better title) since December of last year. The idea behind the project is the creation of 12 two-colour reduction lino prints – one for each month of the year – depiciting a Bornholmian bird, or group of birds, in a Bornholm setting.
Actually I’ve been thinking about doing this for years, and my head has been full of ideas about which bird and which place on Bornholm. Self-enforced and ‘proactive’ projects like this are a much needed counterpoint to my usual working practice – ‘reactive’ responses to ephemeral changes in the environment. The self-enforced structure of the project, together with the somewhat methodical nature of printing, gives me an different way of working which I find both challenging and refreshing.
As such, the project is driven by the following (informal) objectives/rules
- Each print will be small and identical in format (approx 12 x 12cm)
- The print run for each month will be between about 20 or so
- Each print will depict a bird that is ‘classic’ for Bornholm for that particular month
- Each print will depict the birds in a recognizable place on Bornholm – one where they can be seen
- Each print will be a reduction linocut – in most cases with just two reductive stages (=white paper, plus two colours)
- Each print will be nearly colour neutral, with an emphasis instead on tonal contrasts and a simplified graphic approach. Groups of birds, strongly lit and blending in and out of their background, will be the order of the day.
I am now more than half way through, and hope to be finished some time in Spring. I’m hoping they will be ready for the exhibition in Sweden, and perhaps even for Kunstrunde here on Bornholm.in April.
All the printing has taken place at Tryk2, the fantastic printing workshop in Åkirkeby, Bornholm. I cannot recommend this place highly enough. Anyone interested in Bornholm and printing should book it for a few weeks in the summer (it comes with a flat). It is very well equipped and affordable – check out their website (*new website currently under construction, will update link soon…).
Here is one of the prints I’ve been working on. Black headed gulls for August (this is actually three colours/levels of reduction, so I broke my rule here…).
The finished print here…
Anyway, I eventually settled on the following month/bird/place combinations…
- January – Rooks (Råger) – Østermarie Rundkirke
- February – Ravens (Ravner) – Rytterknægten
- March – Lapwings (Viber) – Udkæret
- April – Shelduck (Gravænder) – Salthammer
- May – Ederfugle (Eider ducks) – Christiansø
- June – Vandrefalke (Peregrines) – Vang
- July – Razorbill (Alke) – Hammerknuden
- August – Black Headed Gulls (Hættemåge) – Dueodde
- September – Cranes (Traner) – Bastemose
- October – Greylags (Grågæes) – Nexø Sydstrand
- November – Fieldfares (Sjagger) – Svaneke
- December – Long Eared Owls (Skovhornugle) – Rønne
The list is more a reflection of when and where I get my inspiration from during the year, rather than an attempt to showcase rare or exciting birds that you find on Bornholm. There were lots of ‘honorable mentions’ that didn’t make it onto the final list – but who knows, maybe I could do another round in a few years?
I’ll update my progress on this blog… until then, back to work…