Gillian Ayres worked with printmaker Pete Kosowicz and his team at Thumbprint Editions, Camberwell, to make her recent woodblock prints, including Illyria, 2017, as seen in this film.
'Ayres relishes the visual effects of the grain from an ash woodblock and slow layering of colour, printed 'wet on dry', all laid onto the feathery texture of Japanese Unryushi paper. For each of these new prints, certain blocks were carved back, leaving only the raised shape to be printed; for other elements, pieces were carved as independent units that were then locked together like a jigsaw for printing. Careful and precise registration was crucial, but she enjoyed the occasional 'accidents' that occurred in the multiple printings, with certain shapes overlapping and other areas delineated by a thin line of exposed, uninked paper where the block had not properly abutted. These prints, like the recent paintings, are calmer, more restrained and infused with an inner luminosity.' David Cleaton-Roberts