Edward Turpie – The drawn serigraph: An investigation through portraiture
Abstract, November 2023, following 7 years of part time research the abstract is 297 words as opposed the original 11 page document.
This research interrogates contemporary methods that aim to contribute to the making of meaningful fine art portraiture. The core question enquires how can artists contribute meaningful printed portraits in the saturated world of smart phone digital portraits? The tendered answer is located in a slower methodology of considered handmade marks, that carry the labour of their making in silk screen printed images. A practice-based methodology offers a framework of dual research ambitions: firstly, the examination of portraiture through photography, drawing and silkscreen printmaking. Secondly, the scholarly study of the historical, philosophical, and ethical considerations of photography, print and portraiture. A review of serigraphy as a subset of silkscreen printmaking establishes a clear context for the research.
Commercially available drafting films and handcrafted bespoke surfaces are tested for their efficacy and ability to occlude light from emulsion coated silkscreens. Exposure methods are analysed for their output characteristics and ability to resemble individual drawings. The research investigates a novel and ethically challenging approach to initiating portraits by using discreet smart phone photographs. A retrospective consent methodology is established as a vital component in a critical sharing of completed portraits between artist and subject, which culminates with in-person gifting, discussion, signatures and in an apt return, smart phone records. If approved by the subject then the aim at the outset to make a meaningful portrayal of the subject’s persona, as perceived by the artist, will have been achieved. The gifting process has positive values, many of which have been left by the wayside in contemporary digital image making, where instantaneous transactions have overtaken social and cultural celebration and exchange.
The resultant research affirmation delivers novel knowledge enabling the making of meaningful serigraphic portraits. Fifteen serigraphic portraits, an exhibition and catalogue documenting the underpinning artist, subject engagement, accompany the thesis.