Posted 7th November 2019
Meet... John Bryce and Steve Edwards
On today's blog, we introduce you to two more of our exhibiting artists from In Print: Capturing Light, John Bryce and Steve Edwards, who have both interpreted light and shadow upon the landscape of London in unique and striking ways.
Originally from Bristol, Steve Edwards studied Textile Design at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, which is where he was introduced to printmaking. After further training at City Lit and Morley College, Steve joined East London Printmakers – an artist- run co-operative studio – and he continues to be a member, while also pursuing a career as a graphic designer. His early prints
were mostly etchings, but his discovery of linocut as a medium in 2006 enabled him to introduce more colour into his work. His current prints use an inventive combination of these techniques. Steve has exhibited widely, including with Greenwich Printmakers (recently here at Watts Contemporary), and his work is in many museum collections, including the V&A.
'I create multi-layered lino prints, carving the lino and etching it, which gives me a variety of marks and textures to play with. Using multiple lino blocks enables me to gradually 'build' a light-scape, starting with the white of the paper, or a chosen colour blend, then gradually adding transparently coloured clouds and water, usually created by etching into the lino. The final layers are usually the darker cityscapes of London which define the location. The whole point for me is to capture that moment of beauty which has moved me to create the print.'
Born in London, John Bryce studied mechanical engineering at King's College, London and worked as a research scientist at the Royal Aerospace Establishment in Farnborough, where projects included Concorde.
His passion for art, kindled by his 'wonderful art teacher at school', returned to the fore after his retirement and he now enjoys an artistic career as a painter and printmaker. He was elected a member of the Wapping Group of Artists in 2003 and is also a member of the Society of Wood Engravers, exhibiting regularly at their group shows, as well as with a number of established galleries. His wood engraving Dome (included in this show) was hung at the Royal Academy Summer exhibition in 2019.
'Wood engraving is a powerful medium for depicting the effects of light because it can powerfully express the dramatic contrast between intense black and pure white.
Every cut made with an engraving tool on an endgrain wood block will print white, and by skillful cutting, graduations in tone can be achieved by fine cutting to create drama and mood. However, the often momentary and fugitive effects of light experienced in nature are very difficult for the artist to capture. For example, light falling over complex subjects like the human face, or the transitory changes in the weather in uencing the light in the sky or on water, require the artist to carefully observe and record. In my wood engraving work I first make careful sketches, then I try to portray the event by cutting bold and varied marks with a variety of different shaped tools so as to create an exciting and dramatic image.'
Interested in seeing Steve Edwards and John Bryce's works in person? Click here to find out more about In Print: Capturing Light. All works for sale.