Initial Experimenting with Monoprint – Loneliness amongst Crowds in the City

I have been experimenting with paint and ink and photo manipulation a lot so far. I think this is going well but I now I wanted to experiment with different mediums and different techniques of producing imagery. Here, I have experimented with mono print, a simple transfer technique that involved spreading ink onto perspex, placing a surface like newsprint on top and drawing into the ink so that it prints onto the paper. I thought about the fact that being alone in the city around others is out of your control, even if you smile at someone or try to converse they are not guaranteed to do the same back. In monoprinting, You are drawing into the paper and cannot see the result until it is finished. As a technique, the result of monoprinting is highly out of your control as well so I felt it was appropriate printing method to explore this loneliness through.

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I used a basic ball point pen to draw into the paper, pressing firmly, it was an easy tool to use to ensure the ink printed onto the other side, It also helped me achieve sharp lines and to draw quickly within the method of continuous line and cross hatching.

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I started by printing onto newsprint, an incredibly thin paper and not pressing too hard. An image of the result achieved is above, The lines were sharp and it does have a nice inky quality to it, but I think the colour of the paper is a bit too bright and stark for the ink. Even thought it is quite eery looking and the people do look lonely in the city, I thought a darker background colour may show the isolation around others further. I thought about maybe using brown paper to print onto to see whether it heightened the feeling of loneliness. The image left in the ink, when held up to the light was also highly interesting so I have documented this as well.

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I went on to experiment with monoprinting onto brown paper, as predicted I feel that darker paper heightens the feeling of loneliness within the print. This relates to my grounds workshops and how background colours can influence the mood and atmosphere of a piece. Again, working with dark colours and creating a feeling of loneliness in my work is inspiring me to contrast it with looking at colour and experimenting with showing this loneliness even though the image is bright because at the moment, I feel that the dark tones of my work are definitely helping me along. I like challenging myself and taking risks throughout my project which I feel I already have but this seems a new way to stretch my project further. I  think that these initial monoprints are successful, they are the result of having no control of an outcome, they emphasise the fact that we don’t have control of how lonely we feel when wandering the city, because people have to engage with you, if you are trying to converse with them and they don’t reply at all, the loneliness is perhaps even heightened. Monoprint has definitely been a worthwhile experiment.

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