Video production by Darryl Whitaker of DJWTV & Gippsland Photo Tours
The scent of paper permeates this little studio. See Helen demonstrate her linocut printing techniques, talk about ink & press and her prints referencing her respect and interest in the conservation of wild bush.
Paper excites me. A little piece of paper that holds an image is something special. You can feel the texture of the paper in your hand — sometimes velvety, or smooth and transparent — it’s fragile and yet permanent. The way an image sits upon the paper is a delight to me.
I treasured picture books from an early age and kept on collecting them into adulthood. I was never without a pen in my hand, indeed I remember a large inky stained callous on my finger around the age of nine.
Dad was a draughtsman and brought home all the blocked Rotring pens for me. I was that kid who was always drawing birthday cards for friends, and in high school illustrating every assignment ( even in English). I lived for art class. It seemed a natural progression to RMIT to become a graphic designer. Trained before computers had truly arrived, every aspect was hands-on.
Making prints, linocuts especially was something I enjoyed more and more as graphic design became increasingly digital. It put me in touch with my beloved paper, allowed me the privileges of controlling design, platemaking and printing. There’s nothing so exciting as peeling the paper off a linocut to reveal that first print.