Voluptuousness, Calm and Luxury '82
Voluptuousness, Calm and Luxury '82
Woodcut with adhesive lettering
65 x 54 centimeters

I had played around with linocuts when I was a teenager, but when I started to think like a professional printmaker the sophistication of screen printing was more suited for my aims. That was until a burglar stole the equipment I used for photographic stencils and the lease ended for a shared studio which permitted the luxury of a large well ventilated and well lit space.

An alternative was the woodcut, a medium which suited a small spare room studio and would not fill the house with solvent vapours. It's a wonderful medium and I had long been a fan of the Japanese ukiyo-e woodcuts and the more expressionist style employed by the Norwegian artist, Edvard Munch, but I never developed much feeling for it.

This is the first time I approached the idea of reimagining an existing art work, in this case the Henri Matisse painting, Luxe, Calme et Volupte, and after a considerable gap of time I based a large series of digital prints on the concept, a project I'm engaged with for over ten years. The goal of this print is an ironic display of disillusionment that reflected my dispirited mood at the time. A woman pats a dog sitting on a guy's lap while he laconically eyes her breasts, this happens in a pretty unromantic environment, a car sales yard, and in the Melbourne winter of 1982, that seemed like a bitter summary.

Backgound of the screen prints 1977-1981