Spring Snow
2009, screenprint on Velin Arches Blanc paper, 57 x 76cm
edition of 65

Commissioned by The Multiple Store





Being asked to make a screen-print presented an interesting challenge, as I hadn’t worked with the medium since being on foundation in 1986.

Bringing into one image the optical qualities of four colour separation and half-tone screens with the pixellated matrix of the digital was a way of extending the metaphorical resonances presented in the painting Colorado Snow Effect 6. Many experiments were made until I hit on the idea of pushing the half-tone pattern of the coloured reflection into perspective. The rosettes of dots suggest the floral qualities of Claude Monet’s water lilies, although artificially regimented through the ordering prism of technology.

Getting the colour balance right required many experiments, driving the excellent fine art printmakers we were working with, Advanced Graphics, almost to distraction. Getting the cyan, magenta and yellow components to optically merge from a distance to appear in greyscale prooved extremely problematic. After mixing the inks to the right transparency, fluctuations in the colour balance were caused by inescapable variations in the pressure applied to the squeegee. And then natural and artificial lighting can completely alter the colour balance of the work. Spring Snow is necessarily flawed, a futile representation of nature, a constructed technological sublime complete with the associations of hope, memory and loss that this brings.

The title Spring Snow is a melancholic allusion to Yukio Mishima’s story, the first part of The Sea Of Fertlity tetralogy, where the relationship between two young lovers is disrupted by the pressures of Japanese society and terrible circumstance towards a tragic ending. Thoughts of Monet echo here, considering the influence of Japanese printmakers like Hokusai on his work.

A paper was chosen which seemed to have the texture of freshly fallen snow.