Watts Creatives meet artist Ed Boxall

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Posted 22nd November 2021

We are the Watts Creatives and we had the opportunity to interview Ed Boxall who is an Artist, Writer and Educator from Hastings. Ed's work is currently being featured at the yearly print exhibition In Print: Into the Night, at Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village.

One of the primary reasons that Ed enjoys the medium of linoprint is how, as a traditional craft, it evokes a sense of timelessness. He finds the physical work needed to create linoprints gratifying, believing that the practical skills needed to create prints feels more “craftsy” and down to earth than the fine art of his early career.

Ed’s work frequently features themes of nature which link to the act of making linoprints which is itself naturalistic. One of the aspects of linoprinting that Ed especially appreciates is the need for clear decision making: because linocuts are final, Ed is forced to visualise his print and make sure it’s exactly as he wishes it to be before committing to the printing process.

When you look at Boxall’s work, consider listening to some of the Clientele. According to Ed, their music sounds like the inside of his head. Logically, the indie sound pairs perfectly with the sense possibility and magic that Boxall likes to create in his whimsical prints. He wants the feeling of enchantment to be subtle though, not wizards and unicorns. He takes that back – unicorns appear occasionally! Boxall’s interest in nature comes from what he described as ‘elemental moments’ in his childhood. He recalled ‘lying under a tree in twilight’ and how he can’t help but revisit defining moments like that. Moments that now influence his subject matter and practise.

Ed often uses nighttime as the setting for his pieces. This, he explains, is because there is an unambiguous clarity to things viewed in the intense light of the day, while darkness veils the world in an indistinct shroud that blurs the line between reality and fantasy. This allows him to play around with the concept of dreams, which in Ed’s work appear to manifest themselves as physical reality. This effect is certainly achieved in the quadriptych he is contributing to the Into the Night exhibition. It depicts a young boy following a path through a nocturnal dream world, along which he encounters a number of fantastical creatures that appear only in the dead of night. They include a spectral looking fox, badger and swan; all animals found in the British countryside, which Ed mentions as a major source of inspiration to him. In this respect, Ed’s work harks back to the many Romantic depictions of rural Britain found in 19th century art & literature, whose creators also sought to capture the other-worldly beauty of nature.

This blog was written by our Watts Creatives, Jack, Andrew and Jemima.