Words by Lucy Regter
Photos by Maria Petroff
Peanut Gallery presents Half-Print, an exhibition featuring three brilliant and exciting print-makers from Adelaide; Lily Pook-Ryan, Nick Yap and Jake Holmes. They have come together to share their unique and beautiful collection of prints that include escapism, adventure and mysterious narratives. We caught up with the artists ahead of the opening night to find out more:
Half-Print sees you guys coming together each as individual artists. Can we expect a theme or something joining each of your works together?
J: There isn't really a particular theme apart from the medium of printmaking itself. It will be interesting to see the other connections the work might have once it is in the space together.
L: Each artist has created an individual body of work for the exhibition. The works all share an illustrative style, working exclusively in silkscreen and carved lino-printing techniques.
N: I think we’re making work that screams us. Like a Picasso or a Jackson Pollock. There’ll be a Nick or a Lily, however styles are subjected to change so this exhibition is just a starting point of sorts, to get ourselves out there.
Where did the title “Half-Print” come from?
L: Half Print is a nod to the partnership between Nick and I. It plays with the idea of various components collected together that still don’t make an entire whole.
Can you tell us about the inspiration for your work prepared for the exhibition?
J: I will be presenting 20 new illustrative screen prints. The drawings for these were done during October last year as part of a challenge to myself to complete one a day for the whole month. The illustrations are of invented worlds and characters, some confused, some nervous, some powerful, some happy, some worried. They exist traversing alone through strange worlds on unknown journeys.
L: My work is an exploration of new techniques at an experimental stage in my artistic career. I like to use a monotone palette with a simple composition, and have been heavily influenced by my travels through Asia over the years. The work discusses the sinister, strange and also fun interplay between reality and fantasy, and how we often want to escape both.
N: Being a long-term video gamer and movies enthusiast, I take most of my inspiration from them. As you can tell from the stuff I made. I like to imagine what my characters would do before and after I made them, let them take on their own life.
Checking out art online can often be super accessible. What’s different about actually going to an exhibit, seeing the prints and meeting the artists in real life?
L: I think the difference with viewing art on a computer screen vs. coming face to face with a piece of work, is the impact that it has on you. When you can see every little imperfection, understand the size of the work, feel it with all the senses, really inspect its features; you connect on a very different and real level.
N: I've got nothing against looking at art online since we live in a really connected world. But the experience is just different IRL. When I visit an exhibit I always go up close to an artwork to check out the details, to try to understand how the artwork came to be, maybe raise some questions about the artist, why he/she made those marks or why he/she include certain elements. And if they were there in person I can just go and ask them, now isn’t that better than looking at a bunch of pixels when you zoom up close?
Print making is making a fast revival as medium of choice for zines, books and clothing. What is it about printing that wins you over?
J: Accessibility and how communicative prints are.
L: The first time I tried printmaking I vowed to never do it again! Now, after researching the masters and practicing a broad range of printing techniques, it’s all I think about. I found it became second nature to me and worked with my artistic style. Not to mention that the printmaking community in Adelaide is insanely supportive and passionate!
N: I major in drawing but printmaking is my secret mistress. I’ve always loved the repetitive and almost robotic process of printing it’s… therapeutic. Being an “illustrator” I think my illustrations would adapt well in prints, that’s the main attraction for me. As well as the process of trying out different printing methods I suppose.
Half-Print is on until April 9
Peanut Gallery, Shop 115, Balcony Level, Adelaide Arcade, Adelaide SA
Open Wed/Thu 11am–5pm, Fri 11am–7pm, Sat/Sun 12pm–4pm