Tuesday, 25 May 2010

A fishy project

  Ocean Perch on kitakata paper

As part of my plans for 2010, I applied for a grant, heart in mouth.  I was lucky enough to receive it and for the full amount, as often amounts are reduced to spread the wealth a bit further.

My project is to produce a body of work in gyotaku (fish rubbing) using species found in Newfoundland waters.  I will also be offering a workshop next spring to share what I have learned with other artists. I applied for a longer project time frame because working full time, I need sufficient time to produce work to the quality that I want instead of feeling rushed. 

I'll be experimenting with various Japanese and traditional papers to determine the best for gyotaku as well as backgrounds and techniques. I have feelers out to various fishermen who can supply me with fresh fish and oddities of the sea.

Today, which was a holiday for me, I started experimenting with a local ocean perch, also known as red fish, that I had in the freezer.  I love the patterning on the gill plate of these fish even if they do have pretty spiky fins.  I have a sampler of Japanese papers as well as newsprint and masa that I worked the initial prints with.   I love the Japanese papers!  They are so soft and flexible, especially when dampened and the two that I used, kitakata and chiri printed beautifully.

 Red fish prints

I'm currently researching and accessing a variety of papers  and best techniques for using them to print and am looking forward to the project unfolding and seeing what the ocean will provide for me to print.  I have the seed of Part II of this project in my head which may need another grant to fulfill.  Time will tell.


Robyn said...

BEAUTIFUL! I'd loved to have gone on this adventure with you, Jeanette. Slight shortage of fish, I'm afraid ;) Anyway your journey continues to delight me. Congratulations.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Well done Jeanette - so very well deserved and I can well understand why they were keen to give you the full funding.

You'll be featuring as an artistic heritage hotspot on the Tourism Newfoundland before you know it!

Jeanette said...

Thanks Robyn. Yes you should be on this adventure. After all, you started me on it! Thank you!

Thank you Katherine. I'm looking forward to the printing and the research aspects of this project. Its the perfect time of year to start too with fisheries opening again.

Sarah Wimperis said...

how exciting, and how lovely are the results too, congrats Jeanetts

vivien said...


and I'm going to enjoy watching the progress of this project.

I hope it leads to an exhibition at the end.

Anonymous said...

And yet another post I've missed..were was I then?
Wonderful work Jeanette, and congratulations on the grant as well as a good luck on your project, which will be such a great success...this Perch agrees wide eyed!