Echo Dance
By Ian Robertson

Subject Matter
Reg. Number
91 x 75 cm

Thank you to the artist Ian Robertson for very generously gifting this artwork to the Art in Healthcare Collection.

This print was made in Edinburgh Printmakers Workshop in 1992. From the mid eighties my work had been influenced by a series of visits I had made to the Eastern Mediterranean including Turkey and Crete and a stay at the summer school at Cyprus College of Art near Paphos.
My interest in the Art of the numerous antique cultures I came across in these travels instilled a fascination in me for the symbolic, archetypal qualities of images, and of how they could almost be seen to migrate through the various styles and cultures in which they were applied. Islamic Art, with its rhythmic abstract patterning but strong narrative content was also an influence. The personal repertoire of pots, vessels architecture and landscape forms gathered together in my sketch books became identified with notions of proportion, growth, structure and the fundamental roots of visual language in the natural world.
Of equal importance to me had been the manipulation of the elemental qualities of painting and drawing to create a kind of history within the works themselves – one that could be discerned by peering through the overlapping layers of painted, collaged or drawn marks or by the interplay of pattern, tone and colour across and through the picture space. This had led me to increasingly make use of collage and tactile printed material which was worked into the painted surfaces.
I had begun screenprinting regularly in 1988 while working with a community arts project in Aberdeen and also made use of Peacock Printmakers workshop in the city.
For Echo Dance and other prints done before it I had utilised a kind of parallel technique to the painted works. This involved using simple newsprint stencils with overlapping semi-transparent inks in the early stages of the work and then working directly onto the screen with positive and negative blocking techniques. Final detail was added using photo-stencil images from registered drawings made over the incomplete image on tracing paper and acetate.

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