A new exhibition featuring rare and contemporary examples of nature printing is now on show in the Morris Miller Library, UTAS Sandy Bay campus.
[Im]pressed by Nature provides a vast selection of original prints by local and international artists as well as rare books and fossils that capture the intricate details of the natural world.
Nature printing describes any printing process which directly uses plants, animals, rocks and other natural subjects to produce an image. Many methods of nature printing are on show, from simple direct printing of inked natural materials pressed onto paper, to more complex techniques, that involve several stages to give a direct impression onto materials such as lead, gum, and photographic plates, which were then used in the printing process.
The exhibition features a number of Gyotaku (fish prints) by Japanese artist Boshu Nagase, on loan from the Australian Antarctic Division. Nagase is considered a master of the Gyotaku technique. His prints of Antarctic fish are produced by using thin, but strong moistened paper placed over the surface of the fish. Coloured inks are applied to the paper with a tampo (a wad of cotton), which captures the delicate scale structure and colour of the fish. Originally Gyotaku provided a quick way for fisherman to record the size of their catch by painting the fish with ink and then pressing paper onto the fish to create an impression.
Rare books by Englishman Henry Bradbury, held in the Morris Miller Library Special and Rare collections are also on show. Bradbury, learnt the techniques of nature printing from Alois Auer in Vienna, and became one of the leading printers in this field in the mid-nineteenth century. His images feature beautifully intricate details of British ferns, seaweeds and wildflowers.
The exhibition also features a vibrant selection of contemporary works by Tasmanian artists Christl Berg, Chantale Delrue, Beverley Dunn, and Yvonne von Lichtan, who have all used many different media and techniques in their art practice.
Other works in the exhibition include rare books from the Special Collections of the Baillieu Library at the University of Melbourne, and fossils from the UTAS Geology Rock Store.
[Im]pressed by Nature is on show in the foyer of Morris Miller Library, Sandy Bay campus until the end of April.