13 October - 14 November 2020
ROSLYN KEAN has been inspired by the printmaking traditions of Japan since 1985. She has a particular interest in the practice of traditional Japanese woodblock printing from the 18th Century Edo period; with its attention to complex colour schemes and masterful layering techniques. This has led to her contemporary application of a multiblock woodcut printing process for the past 35 years.
This recent series of prints in Through Shadows has been produced in the months of isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, in the wake of the disastrous Australian bushfires of 2019 and early 2020. KEAN’s works are contemplative in nature as she grapples with a new sense of space, chaos and states of transition. These works are complex and labour-intensive multi-block prints on Japanese Kozo paper, often involving up to 40 or more blocks layered with exacting technique and form. KEAN’s compositions are at once dynamic and serene; shapes seem to jump out off the page and float in space. The subtle technique of printing gradients gives the impression of shadows being cast by her various shapes and forms within the works.
The meaning behind ROSLYN KEAN’s work is as subtle and layered as the her multiblock print process. Her triangular forms are made in direct reference to Aristotle’s triangles of persuasion using Pathos, Logos and Ethos; the shape becoming the artist’s own personal mode or strategy for communication. The works also reflect elements of nature through the organic wood grain patterns visible within the prints. A minimalist approach to colour and form evoke a sense of serenity and meditation on the landscape. The artist’s ruminations on catastrophic and recent bushfires lends to subtle imagery of charred and burning wood and shattered, shard-like forms; as she considers the lives and homes lost in her community. Yet the works provide a mode of quiet contemplation. Through Shadows ultimately refers to emerging through trying times and reckoning with the aftermath. Through these works, KEAN aims to provide objects and imagery for meditation and finding peace in destructive and discordant times.