This article about Emma Fitzpatrick appeared in Pressing Matters magazine, issue 15, April 2021
Learn, think and grow
“It’s been a life changing year for me,” says Emma Fitzpatrick. Awarded a 'Develop Your Creative Practice' grant by Arts Council England for her Making a Bigger Mark project, she spent 2020 immersing herself in print. “The grant has had a huge impact on my work and outlook giving me time to research, see what other printmakers are doing and time to develop creatively and technically.”
Emma Fitzpatrick, Scape 7
It began with a trip to Ireland, to Cill Rialiag art retreat. “The wild weather front, dramatic landscapes, remnants of past habitats scattered within the rock landscape, it led me to a more abstracted, conceptual approach,” says Emma. With the £10.000 grant freeing her from financial worries, she was able to throw herself into studio visits, artist talks and one-to-one mentoring sessions. “Visiting different studios spotlighted new approaches with scales, colour, use to multiplate and painterly effects,” says Emma, adding “The artists I met had such an impressive professional work attitude. I realised that for me work to develop in the way I wanted, I would need to change my mental approach. My eyes were opened to a different way of working as a printmaker and I expanded my expectations of myself,” she reflects.
As the world shut down, plans had to adapt, and Emma decided to focus on monotype printing with the materials she had available at home. “I quickly learnt that I love printing in my home studio where I can work at my own rhythm at any hour of the day. To print larger images, I needed more room and to plan my zone out, so I ripped up carpets and painted walls and transformed the downstairs of my house into a studio,” she says. “The grant gave me time to think, learn and grow. I’m a different printmaker than I was twelve months ago, and now I have the space to integrate printmaking fully into my life.”
Pressing Matters - Celebrating Modern Printmaking - Issue 15