Flood and Birds
By Rosey Priestman

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Year
1995
Media
Printmaking
Subject Matter
Landscape
Reg. Number
P662
Size
52 x 64 cm

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This tender monoprint depicts a flock of birds in on a flooded field. Regarding its composition, Priestman notes that ‘after days of rain the fields flood. Driving by it looks as though a new loch has appeared where the seabirds have gathered, swimming and flying joyfully in the sun.’ Priestman's love for colours and shapes is demonstrated here through the incorporation different elements and tones. She renders different intensities of green and blue, to render the landscape after the rain, creating a window into the development of nature. The bird's on the water resemble Picasso’s simple yet distinctive yet portrayal of doves.

The scene, with its bountiful nature and playful birds, seems nearly idyllic: it finds the peace and joy in the landscape after the storm has flooded the field. Yet Priestman has also incorporated disorder by placing elements on top of each other and using rough outlines, which are often transgressed by the paint, capturing some of the chaos that the flooding has caused.

Monoprinting is a technique that incorporates elements of painting and printmaking. The artist paints the design directly onto a plate and prints an image before the ink or paint dries out. As the name of the technique suggests, it is usually only possible to achieve one strong impression: unlike other forms of printing, only one piece can be produced, and each is one of a kind.

Rosey Priestman was born in 1953 and has lived most of her life in Scotland. She worked collaboratively for many years as a potter and experimented with colour and decorating techniques. In recent years she has produced paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture and collages, which use wallpaper salvaged from derelict houses. She currently lives and works on Sanday in the Orkney Islands, in an old house overlooking the sea. The surrounding landscape, architecture and population feature heavily in her work.

With thanks to The Tate, WorthPoint and The BBC for information about this artist.

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