I am delighted to be part of this exhibition with Graphic Studio Dublin and the National Botanic Gardens, ‘A Natural Selection’. 100 artists were asked to respond to any aspect of the gardens and produce a small print in an edition of 100. All the prints are the same size of 12cm x 13cm on a page of 28cm x 32cm and all are just €100.
‘Wrenn’s Nest’ is based on a quick photo snapped as my niece (the Wrenn in question) climbed through the branches of the Cryptomeria Japonica Elegans in Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens, Co Wicklow. A fantastic natural playground that attracted every child from the nearby picnic tables and provided them each with their own secret garden to explore.
I had planned to do another image and was even in the process of etching it when a summer picnic brought us to Kilmacurragh and my niece began clambering all over the branches of this fantastic tree, the Cryptomeria Japonica Elegans. Though it appears to be a clump of smaller trees, when you duck inside you discover a great array of branches emanating from the same source. A few photos on the phone and I had a new subject for my print.
I used a copper sulphate and salt solution to etch two aluminium plates. A hard ground was used for the line and open bite for the tonal areas.
A sepia shade was used for the first plate and a blue and black mix for the other.
The prints were then editioned – though they’re not asking for the full 100 from us just yet!
(Above photo courtesy of A Natural Selection Facebook page)
The Exhibition opened Thursday 14 November and drew a great crowd and a fantastic number of sales. It continues daily until 5 December. I’ll be there myself on 3 December, invigilating for the day.
All the prints can also be viewed here on the Natural Selection website so you can decide what you like and have your credit card ready! Or if you can’t make the exhibition you can buy the artwork online here.
It is hoped the exhibition will travel into next year. After the exhibition closes in the Botanic Gardens it will open in Greenacres in Wexford and the prints will also be available through Graphic Studio Gallery in Temple Bar, Dublin.