Posted 28th October 2019
Meet... Gail Brodhot and Ian Brooks
In Print: Capturing Light is now open! On today's blog, we introduce you to two of our exhibiting artists, Gail Brodholt and Ian Brooks, whose very different styles highlight how contemporary printmakers explore the theme of light in varying ways.
Ian Brooks's formal education is not in art, but science. He studied physics in Manchester, staying on to complete a PhD in atmospheric physics. After 8 years working at the University of California San Diego he returned to the UK and Leeds University, where he is now a professor in the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science.
His first love, however, was art, and for a long time he managed to continue bits of illustration and graphics work, until the demands of 'real' work took over. A few years ago he was persuaded by a friend to try etching, and rapidly became hooked. He now divides his time, albeit rather unequally, between art and science. He is currently in the Arctic, on a research trip on air-sea interaction and polar climate.
'I am essentially self-taught as a print maker, using techniques learned initially from various books, and a lot of trial and error. I draw directly on the plate with a variety of brushes, sponges, and rags, using a sugarlift solution (actually neat Camp Coffee) .
Direct inspiration comes from the landscape, in particular remote, wild regions. I am fortunate that my research in polar climate takes me to many of the most remote and beautiful locations around the world. Sketches and photos from scientific fieldwork trips provide the basis for many of my etchings.'
Gail Brodholt is a painter/printmaker who lives and works in London. She has a studio situated by the Thames Barrier in Woolwich, South East London, and the city has become the inspiration for much of her work. She prints all her linocuts by hand on an Albion Press built in 1841 and still going strong!
Gail studied fine art at Kingston upon Thames University, where she principally trained as a painter. Although she studied printing at university, it wasn't until a few years later that she took up relief printing seriously and these days this is her major medium.
She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers (RE) and her work is held in many public and private collections.
'I try to capture a strong sense of the time of day in my subjects, which I do by the suggestion of light and shadow. This also creates a sense of place and narrative, which I regard as central to my work.
I work with rich and vibrant pigments which I find particularly lend themselves to the depiction of man-made environments with their dynamic, moving crowds, artificial lighting, bright screens and billboards.
I use transparent layers of ink to build up layers, and this produces a depth of colour and a variety of tone and texture. I generally use four lino blocks, printing the darkest colour first and finishing with the most transparent.'
Interested in seeing Gail Brodholt and Ian Brooks's works in person?
Click here to find out more about In Print: Capturing Light.