Monday, 28 April 2014

Bluecoat Display Centre residency

Making wallpapers for installation in the community.

During february and march 2013 I undertook a short residency for Bluecoat Display Centre. Although this work is still to be finally realised you can see the maquettes of the wallpapers which were made by working in various spots around the Everton district with the community. The individuals created mono-prints which I then selected and edited and collborated with a designer to make into wallpapers. The image below is called 'Child in Net' and you can see how it might look once made into a digital wallpaper.

Image below was originally made by a woman I met whilst working in the library running a mono-print workshop. She had just been moved up from London into a council house and was out shopping for a television for her three children. She was a single mother and originally from Nigeria.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Printmaking Today.

Printmaking Today article - out now autumn edition. Background and technical information about the Youtube Portraits project.  Other news is that I have been selected for a residency at the Santa Fe Arts Institute in Mew Mexico next July. Very exciting. I will be working with Native American Midwives and women in the peublos around Santa Fe.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Galerie Deadfly - Life is Beautful

Image : Maurice Doherty, director Galerie Deadfly Berlin. 

I just got back from Berlin where I showed another work from the Youtube Series at Galerie Deadfly in Friedrichshain Berlin. Maurice runs the gallery in a really lively part of the city. It is the forth in a series of shows called Life is Beautiful. Maurice chose one of the most ambiguously sexual images of the series to show and it was pretty fascinating to overhear some of the comments around the work because a fair amount of visitors to the opening night believed they were looking at porn. When I explained (or they read the title) and realised it was a birth, their attitudes to the work appeared to change quite profoundly. This time the work was hung using supermagnets.

Installation shot 'Life is Beautiful'

‘A szülés természete’ The natural way of birth Four-colour screen-print on Fabriano paper 101 x 148 cm 2012 Helen Knowles

Installation shot of opening night of Life is Beautiful : work by Fred Pedersen

Monday, 25 June 2012

June 2012 - Youtube Portraits project winner of the Great Art Prize.

I have finished the intense production period afforded to me by Arts Council England to make 7 large scale screen prints and editions of them at Hotbed Press. Read below for more information. I have been working with Poppy Bowers (Assistant Curator at Whitechapel) on a freelance basis to secure an exhibition in London in 2013. More info on this to follow - but the big news is that I won the Great Art Prize and two of my prints are on show in Bolton in the Neo Art Gallery! 

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Digital Romatics Exhibition - Dean Clough Gallery

Installation shot of Digital Romantics exhibition at The Dean Clough Gallery. 2012. 

'Раждане с оргазъм' Birth with orgasm 
Four Colour Screen print on Fabriano 1/3 x 146cm. Helen Knowles 2012

Friday, 27 January 2012

Youtube screen printing project at Hotbed Press.

I have been working since December 2011 on a series of new large scale screen prints in an Arts Council England funded project. I am teaming up with curator Poppy Bowers to show these works in a solo exhibition in 2013. To date I have produced 3 works, two of the prints I have just made will be shown in the Crossley Gallery for the exhibition Digital Romantics. I have a studio at Hotbed Press in Salford and work in the Press printing large scale. The unusual aspect to these works is the way that they are exposed. This is with a normal digital projector. It takes many tests per print to achieve the exact colour balance and the intricacies of working on such a large scale throw up many problems. Not just the fact that it takes two people to carry the screen! Here are a selection of images which show myself and Ivan Liotchev working in the studios at Hotbed.

Exposing with a digital projector.

 working on the large screen bed.

checking out the print at the Yellow and Magenta stage.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

You Tube Screen Printing project

Thanks to the Arts Council England I have just had news that I have been awarded a grant to print a series of large-scale screen-prints which are screen grabs of Youtube birth videos.  I will be working at Hotbed Press in Salford where I have a studio to make the series of 7 works.

Раждане с оргазъм (Birth by orgasm) 
Four-colour screen-print on Fabriano paper   101 x 147 cm   2011 
Edition of 3 

Раждане с оргазъм (Birth by orgasm) 
Detail of four-colour screen-print on Fabriano paper   101 x 147 cm   2011 
Edition of 3 

Раждане с оргазъм (Birth by orgasm) 
Detail of four-colour screen-print on Fabriano paper   101 x 147 cm   2011 
Edition of 3

The first exhibition of this work will be in February of 2012 for the Digital Romantics show at the Dean Clough Gallery curated by David Hancock. You can see the initial print which I made in July 2011 working with Ivan Liotchev to develop a way of exposing the image using a digital projector. This project is also supported by Screen Stretch and Screen Tec and Turners Art Materials 

Crossley Gallery Dean Clough Halifax.

Digital Romantics

With: Iain Andrews, Andrew Brooks, Clare Booker, darkcorner (Simon Woolham), David Hancock, Ian Kirkpatrick & Julien Masson, Helen Knowles, James Moore, Tom Ormond, Kari Stewart.

Stunning landscapes, moody urban dystopias, costumed fantasies and ecstatic tableaux: but just because there’s a computer chip involved in all of them, doesn’t mean that what Coleridge had to say about the imagination, or Burke about the sublime, or Carlyle about heroes doesn’t apply. The widely admired painter and curator David Hancock has brought together ten artists from around the UK for this unique exhibition of paintings, photographs, prints and sculptures – all of which manifest Romantic obsessions in a digital world. These are artists who pose as many challenges to the self-regarding (and self-rewarding) avant-garde as they do to the vaunted sensibilities of traditional ‘art lovers’; but in their acknowledgement of digital consumerism their scrutiny of contemporary life is perhaps more urgent than either group cares to admit.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Switzerland- Trelex Residency

Accompanying Ivan Liotchev who is part of Emotion Driven Process Based Parallel Identities to Switzerland to check out Nina Rodin's Trelex residency space, deliver a painting and make some marker drawings.

This canvas is back in Manchester at present and being worked on in my living room!

The Trelex Residency is an amazing resource for artists who need time and space to carry out ideas. There is a large living space and studio which can accommodate two artists at a time. It is in the small village of Trelex which is just 45 minutes from Geneva.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

2 colour screen-prints on fabriano paper. 63 x 63 cm. 2011.

Why does the ecstatic image of a woman’s face, exhaling and reclining in what could be a screen grab from a porn film become significant when you realise it is actually appropriated from YouTube, posted by the woman herself, as a record of her birth? The intimate narrative of birth played out on the internet is of course ‘family viewing’ and yet it opens up the taboo yet undeniable link between sex and birth challenging the separation between women as mothers and women as sexual entities.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Drawing From Birth

Helen Knowles Incised book. 2010

Alongside the Mary Kelly Education programme @ The Whitworth Art Gallery I ran a series of collaborative interdisciplinary workshops with 8 members of the public to explore the visual representation of childbirth. These began on Thursday March 3rd in the Worthington Room in The Whitworth Art Gallery.

The group was a mixed bunch of artists and non-artists with an interest in the subject matter either through their own personal experiences of childbirth or just as something to explore. We worked from You Tube videos, and old and new images of birth found in books magazines and pamplets. Through drawing, screenprint and new media we have created imagery and screenprints We will also work with collage inspired by my own personal interest in this medium from running Collage Night

This Blog will be updated with imagery, words and ideas over the course of the next 6 weeks.

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