Artists’ Books Exhibition, UWE, Bristol, UK
Within an investigative creative process Neil Bousfield’s practice has evolved through a range of aesthetic and craft-based skill sets which have crossed subject boundaries and digital and analogue spaces to create animations, 3D digital films, handmade furniture, sculpture, silent novels, prints and narrative-based printed sequences.
Neil’s interests lie within the interconnected relationships between physical spaces, context and narrative ideas expressed through the hand. The simplicity of production negates a technological dependency rendering questions of “how to make" obsolete. The processes of drawing and relief engraving facilitate a clear connection between mind and hand and as such narrative ideas become key practice drivers. Neil’s current research, practice and making, explores the concept of a narrative of place.
Drawing in practice: A portfolio of objects exists as a small limited edition handmade card portfolio printed directly from relief engraved synthetic blocks. It contains 12-colour reduction relief engraved prints and handset letterpress printed text which aims to clarify the place of drawing within a continual evolving practice.
The relief engraving process facilitated by the hand has allowed drawing to transcend the confines of “paper and pencil" and be expressed through “tool and surface" in order to engage with context and place.
Each print captures a moment in time elevating the everyday kitchen detritus to the status of “a narrative of things." Through scale and intricacy the reader is invited to take time to ponder, wonder, rationalise and make sense of the world the practitioner presents.
“Drawing in practice: a personal manifesto?
Drawing, like music, communicates across boundaries. Without limitations of words, written language, grammar or spelling, drawing can cross boundaries, or overcome nationalities, cultures and even time.
Drawing in practice: a portfolio of objects was a project born from drawing and thinking in order to acquire new personal knowledge. By simply engaging with drawing my surroundings, the project has facilitated a reconnection with drawing and allowed a deeper consideration of the role of drawing, within different aspects of personal practice.
As an engraver and printmaker, drawing is fundamental to my practice and provides me with the ability to question, observe and collect visual research as the primary source for my printmaking and as such allows a transformation of drawing into another medium, which begs the question what is drawing to me?
As a practitioner and participant engaged within the culture of drawing I have made an attempt here to understand, evaluate and reflect upon and from this I aim to shed some light on the role and development of drawing within my practice.
In trying to understand drawing within practice it is important to acknowledge the demands placed upon our drawing, what we are making and doing and what we want drawing to achieve”
Limited to an edition of 19 copies, the portfolio contains 12 signed limited edition colour engravings inspired by observations and drawings of familiar, everyday objects, 12 pages of text set by hand, letterpress printed contents and colophon pages and printed portfolio. The portfolio, type setting, engraving and printing were completed by the artist’s hand.
A selection of the limited edition engravings from “Drawing in Practice: A Portfolio of Objects”