In November, 2019, NSCAD University launched the revival of the NSCAD Lithography Workshop, which saw the creation of eight significant lithographs by a group of diverse Canadian artists. With the guidance of Master Printer Jill Graham, NSCAD’s ode to the 1969 original workshop was a great success.
Throughout the project, filmmaker Marcia Connolly (with CBC Arts) was on hand to document the artists’ process. What resulted were eight captivating video clips, detailing the fascinating stories behind the concept of the prints, the artist’s time in studio and the care that went into every press.
Below you will find links to each video, with excerpts from the transcripts. With the background on the artists and their work, the lithographs come to life. The CBC Arts series, titled Print’s Not Dead, truly captures the importance of this project.
“Fernandes takes you through how he layered his interest in Sol Lewitt with his grief for the Pulse nightclub shooting that happened in Orlando on June 12, 2016. He explains how the 49 bodies of dancers in his print stand for the 49 people killed in that shooting, and how the gesture of falling became central to both the choreography and the motif that is the focus of his print.”
“Pien says ‘I thought the most obvious thing I could do is actually to use ocean water and see how it would participate in realizing drawings. In this case, it’s participating by leaving me. Ghosts are kind of traces of something — some energy, some entity — and here, water has actually disappeared, evaporated, has gone elsewhere leaving a residual.’”
“In Bennett’s print, he references the everyday life of Mi’kmaq people. Bennett says, ‘The entirety of this piece, colour-wise, represents different stages of the day, all the different cycles on the day of the season, the life[…] I’ve done print making before but I’ve never ever looked at it the way Jill (Graham) looks at it. And that’s an amazing learning process, and I’ll be forever grateful for the print that we made together. It helped me figure out yet another way to tell our stories.’”
“For Malbeuf, tufting was a natural choice to make her subject in her new print called tuft life. She says, ‘What I found really interesting about lithography is that it’s a very tedious way of making an image or an artwork, just as tufting is. And so, I thought it would be really interesting to pair those two mediums as ideas together.’”
“Boyle imagined herself invading a very famous studio — that of Francis Bacon, a notorious (and celebrated) British painter working mid-20th century. Boyle says, ‘He is an artist that’s a phenomenal painter and a phenomenal artist but may not have been the best person, especially when it came to his ideas about women. So I thought that was really important to situate a very female experience from my own life, or my own mind, in that space to try to really counteract it.’”
“Sullivan began to pull together the series of books that would become the subjects of his print, A Piece of Glass Hanging in the Window. With the collaboration of master printer Jill Graham, Sullivan tried to create a drawn collage that would look as if you just happened upon the perfect set of books in a meeting with each other.”
“Walker made her print, From Time to Time, with references to a Canadian Pacific Railway poster that encouraged settlers to explore the land, continuing colonial expansion. The print includes a turbine, which enabled the building of hydro dams in lands that belonged to Indigenous peoples, causing environmental damage and violating treaty rights. ‘I definitely wanted something that involved a Canadian conversation around resource extraction and the sort of continuity between the era around settlement and Confederation and now in this contemporary moment,’ says Walker.”
“Shuvinai responds to what she feels from the land through poetic stream of consciousness musings that then emanate from her work. And you’ll see how in her print, Halipaligazuk Nuzakutaling Kuaniqnii, she managed to actually make herself part of the landscape.”
NSCAD University and the Anna Leonowens Gallery would like to thanks CBC Arts and Marcia Connolly for the Print’s Not Dead series. For more on the Lithography Workshop, visit litho.nscad.ca.