As part of our ongoing interest and support for printmaking in Tees Valley we created a short term residency in our own Print Studio at Dundas House from May to July 2015.
Suzie Devey was selected from a range of artists who applied for the opportunity earlier in the year. Suzie has a range of skills and interests which she has brought to the residency as well as a passion for creating work which connects to the area through printmaking.
In the first part of the project Suzie visited and documented an allotment in Thornaby. Using drawing, photography and lino printing Suzie collected images along with textures and surfaces found on site.
The 3 month residency is an exciting opportunity for me to develop my practise as a printmaker but also to explore new ideas and ways of working with others. I will be developing a project which will take me into the heart of communities in the Tees Valley where I can meet people and hear their stories, to discover why the places they love have so much nostalgia for them.
Since memory, people and places are interwoven like a tapestry I will seek out the places where the urban environment has a beauty of its own. A beauty that has been created by the lives lived in that place: scuff marks on an old door from the passing of thousands of footsteps, peeling doors revealing layers upon layers of ancient paint or drainpipes darkened with years of crumbling rust.
Having gathered the stories I will then gather these urban remnants upon canvas to create “urban fabric”. Just as the physical environment is a backdrop to our lives, this urban fabric will become the backdrop to the portraits I create of the storytellers I meet. I will carve the stories into lino or board to make printing plates and these will be used to create a series of original prints on the urban fabric.