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Showing posts from November, 2017
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Our time at Mi-Lab is almost over and we're all sitting in the library, chatting and looking through books. Today at lunch everyone was very quiet and It felt sad that our time together is really coming to an end.  The six of us have worked together, eaten together at breakfast lunch and dinner, and gone off on adventures at the weekend.  I'm so lucky that I ended up on this course with such a great bunch of people. 

On Sunday I made a plan for the week ahead; to spend each day making prints from each of the three images I've carved during my time here.  In the evening I cut sheets of Japanese paper to soak over night so that the paper is moist enough to print on Monday and Tuesday. But I underestimated how long it would take me to make the prints and definitely overestimated how much paper I would need. I had lots of ideas of colour combinations I wanted to try out, but I only managed 4 prints on Monday - but I'm really pleased with them. These prints are rich and dark…
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Today is Thursday and I have exactly 7 days left of my residency.  It seems clear to me that I’ve made big steps of progress each week from one artwork to the next. But this week feels like the first time that I'm really excited about the piece I’m making, really engaged with the subject matter.  Towards the end of last week I had the idea to base my next print on a tourist brochure about Kawaguchi, for tourists coming to experience Mt Fuji and on Saturday I took a cable-car up to the top of a mountain in the centre of Kawaguchi town to look out over the view of where I'm staying – the lake, town and mountains. I had my eyes pealed for a leaflet or poster with images of Mount Fuji plus Japanese text.   Quick digression - having taken the cable-car and whilst I was at the top of the mountain snapping pictures of Mt Fuji and Kawaguchiko town and lake I saw a sign at the entrance to a foot path saying 6 HOUR WALKING TREK, BE PREPARED TO RETURN BEFORE DUSK. WALK AT YOUR OWN DANGER. …
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It's now Wednesday of the 3rd week here and I think I'm just about at the half way point of the residency. It's honestly taken the last two weeks to get settled here and now I'm feeling the pressure, that if I blink, the whole thing will be over before I know it.  In all truth the main thought I'm having is HOW INCREDIBLY LUCKY AM I TO BE HERE!  Now that I really feel at home in this house amongst the other artists and I've got past the initial learning of Mokuhanga, I'm really loving my time here. It's a very special experience; life is incredibly simple compared to life in London.  There is no commute to work and just a desk to work at (though none of the presses and equipment that I'm used to). However I do feel exhausted and the days are flying past. I start at 6am and I'm asleep by 11pm. I try to get a run in every other day down by the lake otherwise I think I'd get cabin fever in the house/studio - all being under one roof. I think I na…
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The other artists and I have all come to Tokyo for one night to attend an exhibition of past students of Mokuhanga at Mi-Lab, which took place last night - it's so wonderful to be back in Tokyo again!! 





The exhibition was also a memorial to celebrate the life of Keiko Kadota who founded the organisation. Keiko, who passed away in January this year, was an artist and teacher and clearly a force of nature.  She has done a huge amount for keeping alive the craft of Japanese woodblock printing in setting up Mi-Lab and also a conference in Mokuhanga which takes place every three years in different countries around the world, the last one taking place in Hawaii. Through the residency programme she has enabled artists from around the world to come and experience Japan and learn this traditional technique, taking this back to their own country and spreading the knowledge. The exhibition / memorial took place in an art gallery within a large building for the arts. The building looked really…