Artist Jacqui Dodds has exhibited nationwide but is particularly proud to work closely with fellow Shropshire artists and hopes to inspire the next generation of printmakers.
Painter and printmaker Jacqui Dodds, from Telford, is inspired by places she’s been and buildings she’s seen. From Venice to Birmingham, to Ditherington Flax Mill, near Shrewsbury, inspiration comes from memories and feelings that place evoke for her.
Using the medium of screen printing, her artwork creates an essence of places she’s visited. Screen printing, she says, is a technique whereby a stencil is applied to a mesh and a blade or squeegee is moved across the screen pushing ink through open areas on the mesh through to the printing surface, for example paper (although Jacqui has experimented with varied canvases). Jacqui was inspired to take up printmaking at college. She was studying for her art foundation course at Telford College of Arts & Technology when an established printmaker visited the college, introducing students to several different techniques. Jacqui knew she’d found her niche.
“I felt this was where I belonged, initially concentrating on screen prints and exploring themes of place, landscape and spaces,” she says.
She continued to study, going on to gain a BA (Fine) Art at Glyndwr University, specialising in painting and printmaking. She further developed her theme of place and spaces, particularly cities.
“I sketch, take photos and then use the memories of places visited and objects within them to retrace and relive the images and feelings which creates an essence of the places in print and painting,” she explains.
“Some spaces at first glance appear ‘abandoned’, however on closer inspection they resonate with a quiet energy and a sense of waiting to be resdiscovered and spring into life again.
“Colour, or the lack of it, plays a crucial role in my work and I tend to choose a subdued palette, however, occasionally I will juxtapose these with resonating colours to alter the mood of the work. I’m also interested in printing onto diverse materials such as aluminium; acetate; Japanese and Chinese paper.”
Since graduating in 2009, Jacqui has been involved in several art projects and has exhibited across the country; currently in North Yorkshire and Sussex. Nearer home she has been involved in a project at Wightwick Manor near Wolverhampton for the National Trust and Enter Arts which culminated in an exhibition there in the house and garden. In 2011, she was awarded a place on a professional development project to coincide with the opening of the new Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery. As part of this project she created blind embossing prints, which showed traces and surfaces of geological objects from Shrewsbury Museum.
“I have always been fascinated by fossils, museums and art galleries since childhood as they are wonderful places for spending time and learning,” she says.
The following year, she was commissioned to make new artwork for the museum based on the Wroxeter Roman city site
“My work is entitled ‘The Space Between’ and explores physical and temporal space between the herringbone floor and the earth below at the Roman city site of Wroxeter. I made a concertina book with a leather wrap-around cover and inside is a laminated screenprint depicting the herringbone floor pattern. This resembled the geo-physical surveys carried out there as only 1/60 of the city has actually been excavated. At the present time the floor lies hidden from sight in the city beneath a protective membrane.”
This year, Jacqui has been making new prints and artist books for an exhibition based on Oswestry Hill Fort exhibited at the Willow Gallery, in Oswestry. She also exhibits in the Dotty Dog Gallery in Shrewsbury and will be at the Borderland Visual Arts Open Studios at Bronygarth near Oswestry on 11-12 June and 18-19 June. As well as producing much work of her own, Jacqui is delighted to be able to inspire others in the same way that she was first inspired back at college. Alongside fellow printmaker Christine Bradshaw she runs printmaking workshops at Westhope College near Craven Arms and also at Birmingham Printmakers.
“I am passionate about passing on printmaking skills as many colleges and universities are reducing their printmaking facilities and courses,” she says. “It is such a joy to teach participants who are as enthusiastic to learn this technique as I am to share it.”
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