Lockdown week 52

52 weeks – One Year on.

This post is a little late as the cherry blossom that featured one year ago has been a couple of days later than anticipated in 2021. The season has come round again which gives a degree of comfort that some sort of natural normality is in place, while the abnormality of the last year continues to disrupt daily existence.

Cherry blossoms. April 2020


“Unique” Matrix: Bodies, Performance and Encounters

The 2020 IMPACT printmaking conference was postponed because of you know what. However, the Hong Kong Print Workshop that were to host have pulled all the stops out to put the 6 day conference on this week through its dedicated website. An immense achievement as printmaking exhibitors, speakers and demonstrators from across the world have participated. Over 100 exhibitions and portfolios reflect the state of contemporary printmaking and research. With a 7 hour difference the late afternoon and evening zoom presentations are responded to by European participants early in the morning. 

Printmaking colleagues in the School of Art reconfigured our original bespoke printed book for exhibition into an ebook: Legends and Legacy Between as the original.

Full screen book and Video version.

I shall present ‘Print States and Chance’ on Sunday (morning).

Lest we forget

September 17th 2020. Digbeth, Birmingham UK

The conclusion of the murder trial of George Floyd to place on Monday with the final statements from Defence and Prosecution.  In less that 24 hours the jury charged with giving a verdict in this most important trial this century gave their unanimous decision.

Amid relief and celebration calls from the President of US to the Floyd family laid the ground for real change. That said deaths of black people in the US including Minneapolis, continue to occur daily.

covid update

India has surpassed Brazil in the rise in cases, with frightening effects as hospitals cannot cope.

Eating Out Celebration

Paneer Kofta, Palak Sauce and Saphire

This week is Ramadan and we celebrated with an Iftar outside in Hall Green, Birmingham UK as the sun disappeared below the horizon. It is the first time we have met to eat since December 2019. Thanks to all including @RajaMonkey for providing such delicate and delicious food.

Thats it (for this year)

Lockdown week 51

second Jab

2nd Vaccination Confirmation April 2021

A surprise text from the GP surgery popped up in messages: ‘book your second Vaccination’. I was originally booked in on May 2nd, but I attended this morning.


Helen McRory 1968-2021.

What a terrible loss it is that actress Helen McRory has passed away at the age of 52. She is pictured above when we met in Birmingham following the launch of Peaky Blinders in which she played the wonderful matriarch Aunt Poll. Generous as ever she proudly wore her ‘Digbeth is Good’ button.


Very busy week that began with the Printmakers Council announcing that I am their featured artist. A very generous series of posts highlighted current work and that from the covid year.

The week has progressed with aquatint trials for the EARLY 21stCTools series. A two colour print of the abstracted freedom disc had to be registered through the trapping the paper under the blanket technique. The colour plate was wiped leaving an area without ink in order the white paper would show through the abstract marks of the disk image that was over printed in black.

Abstract Freedom Hard Disc. Two Colour Aquatint. 300×350. 2021

The next test will be the ALPHA disc with minimal bite timings to assess how the tones will be retained.

Lest we forget

September 17th 2020. Digbeth, Birmingham UK


covid update

Thats it

Lockdown week 50

still masked

Entrance hall coat and mask hanger. April 2021

Not much to see. Too busy with head down on reading and research this week. Progress. Being made. 

Lest we forget

September 17th 2020. Digbeth, Birmingham UK


The trial of the killing of George Floyd is screened live from 3 pm GMT and if one can get over the seriousness and oppression of Mr Floyd, the amount of video and photographic evidence is overwhelming.  Not being a regular murder courtroom attendee, I am not able to understand whether this is normal, but as the Forensic Pathologist Dr Lyndsey Thomas says in her testimony she has never known such a variety of footage from street observers, police body cameras and CCTV. The reality footage from the incident and the transfer of Mr Floyd to the ambulance by paramedics is too much to take, as the victim is clearly dying or dead, but it is screened. Only today has the court been told that some autopsy images will not be shown on screen, but the jury will receive physical photographs in an envelope to be viewed at the direction of the prosecutor, but thankfully not be screened to the live audience.

Dr Thomas looking down at physical photographs.

covid update

Thats it

Lockdown week 49

Locked Out

Restaurant Birmingham UK. March 2021

Its been a busy week! As the first lifting of restrictions are made on Monday the sun comes out and on the hottest March day for over 50 years, many mainly young folk partied. No partying for me as the thesis Introduction is reviewed following valuable feedback began the week, followed by two days of practical printmaking processes and reflection on the how selected print media of visualisation changes interpretation of the image.

Print and Tools Tests

The visualisation of 2021 tool equivalents to Jim Dine’s inspirational prints of 1950’s hand tools is throwing up a variety of options. The digital images offer stark contrasts with the photographic images of the hard disc metal containers and leads. This begins the process of visualising the Early 21C tools that will be documented in the pages beginning with: https://printsanew.jonnieturpie.com/21st-century-tools

Five Removable Hard discs. 2007-2020. digital drawing.

The first etchings of the LaCie 2020 provide very different images from digital disc images and the photographic images with textural backgrounds. In just 8 proofs there are 8 different impressions to assess.

8 test hard and soft ground etchings of LaCie 2020 removable hard disc

Following the soft and hard ground etching an experiment with two freedom 2007 disc images applied to aquatinted 300x350mm copper plates.

Silkscreens are used to print bitumen onto copper plate as masks for aquatint etching. While stencils are usually associated with silkscreen or serigraphy printing to hold back ink being forced through the mesh on to a substrate. In this case a stencil is used to control where a bitumen resist reaches a plate to be etched. In this early tools test, two negative images of a freecom 2007 hard disc are made on paper from digital files and exposed on to a 100 mesh screen. They are positive in order a resist is printed on the plate leaving the aquatint exposed to take the acid bite and create a negative to be inked and deliver a printed positive.

two copper Plates with bitumen resist printed from silkscreen.

negative, positive, negative, positive.

Freecom 2007. Stage Proof Aquatint on Hahnemühle paper. 400x450mm
Freecom 2007 abstract. Stage Proof. Aquatint on cartridge paper. 400x450mm

Much of the details of the process are captured here as the Early 21C Tools series develops.

Lest we forget

September 17th 2020. Digbeth, Birmingham UK

This week saw the beginning of the murder trial of civilian George Floyd by the police man who held his knee on the neck of Mr Floyd for 9:29 minutes. Race and racism underlies all questions and testimonies. The live courtroom transmission is tragic. Courtney Ross’s cogent testimony is excruciating in her relating of the personal and emotional trauma she has to participate in. The silences between questions is painful as is the screening of body cam and observer’s brave video footage.  

covid update

Thats it

Lockdown week 48

Through the nets

Great Spotted woodpecker, through the curtain.
Great Spotted Woodpecker 2017

Nothing to see, just listen to the sounds of the morning woodpecker.

Perhaps the same bird that visited in 2017 is back to wake us. Or a new younger one is passing by and spied the coconut.

Print and Tools Tests

Continuing the visualisation of 2021 tool equivalents to Jim Dine’s inspirational prints of 1950’s hand tools is throwing up a variety of options. The digital images are offering a stark contrasts with the photographic images of the hard disc metal containers and leads. https://printsanew.jonnieturpie.com/21st-century-tools

Five Removable Hard discs. 2007-2020. digital drawing.

These will be inkjet printed on plain and textured paper surfaces. With access to the School of Art print room and the assistance of master printmaker Justin Sanders the trial of an etched image of the most modern disc (LaCie 2TB) has delivered comparison of hand made image and backgrounds with the digital images. Each image is drawn on tissue paper and transferred on to the soft and hard ground plates with no digital or photographic elements. Additionally the etching process into copper plate, printed on selected paper and hand inked, is fully manual. The inclusion of the irregular connection leads locates the rectangular discs on the square plate and subsequent squared image on the rectangular paper. A clean background for the linear drawing works well in giving the modern disc/tool a status akin to the Jim Dine prints of hand tools.

LaCie Tools. Two plate etching.

Following first proofs from soft and hard ground plates, drawing into the hard ground was undertaken using burin and roulette tools. A second hard ground etch was applied. A two plate print was taken with the hard ground printed on top of soft ground, providing a hint of shadow to the hard ink lines. Finally a series of prints have been made to assess the effects of varied backgrounds and highlighted areas. The backgrounds were achieved by leaving some ink on the plates beyond the etched grooves, ie not fully wiping the surface clear of ink using the ‘Surface Tone’ technique. Background textures were also left in the ink as the pattern of the scrim was embedded. Highlights were created by cleaning selected ares with a hand made cue tips. ie not cotton wool sticks, but soft paper rolled into a point and bound with masking tape.

8 test hard and soft ground etchings of LaCie removable hard disc

Keatleys metals weighing.

Next an experiment with another disc image will be undertaken through the aquatinting etching process on new 300x350mm copper plates purchased from the Birmingham Metal Suppliers Keatley’s where cost is calculated by weight. Another analogue contrast with the digital tools to be represented.

The silkscreen surface test that was made prior to lockdown by printing transparent screen ink medium has reclined in a print room plan chest drawer for four months, but sadly has not dried sufficiently to be drawn upon. An additional two days in the drier has not hardened the medium. As the surface texture/pattern is of interest an alternative to drawing may be to lightly drop carbon dust from some height to maintain the texture, but provide sufficient small barriers to screen exposure which may deliver a unique surface to be printed from and be assessed as a serigraphy portrait background. Equally the dust might dry the medium surface to a degree that drawing materials may be held.

Results reviewed as the week progresses.

Chance Meeting

My second excursion to the City Centre and the School of Art was diverted by an unexpected meeting with a visitor to the city as she photographed the statue of Queen Victoria in the square that is named after her. She asked if I would take picture of her in front of the statue and the classical architecture of the Town hall. I pointed out the Museum and Art Gallery and that I was on the way to the School of Art which she was immediately interested in seeing. I introduced her to its magnificence, before encouraging her to see the newly opened centenary square.

Tusti. Digital drawing. 2021.

I have shared a drawing of her which celebrates the event that was the first time I have met by chance and engaged with a new person in 11 months. We swopped insta names and it occurred to me that I had put all sense of being in covid to one side, apart from our masks, and engaged as a resident sharing the sights of the city in non restricted times. On reflection it was a liberating experience indicating what we have been missing and look forward to returning to.

Lest we forget

September 17th 2020. Digbeth, Birmingham UK

covid update

Thats it

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