Audrey Feltham and Atelier West Printshop
Download Audrey's artist statement (as a pdf) here.
My artistic practice is centered in both exploration of process and thematic exploration of the concepts of memory and relocation or translocation. My work is narrative in nature, with the inclusion of text as an element that is tended as a departure point for the viewer. I am interested in taking the viewer on a journey, with the intention of self discovery through the process of making connection through visual and written elements.
My exploration of process has been centered in the incorporation of fibre based techniques into printmaking practice. This exploration began in 1999 with the “Emblematura Prints” that I created for the traveling exhibition Fine Art and Haute Couture: Marriage of Power and Control. Since then I have continued to examine the possibility of mark making through fibre construction and how that mark making can be incorporated into the printmaking vocabulary.
Thematically, my work has always been narrative in nature. Since 2004 with the production of the series of prints entitled “Intimations: Shadows, Reflections and Metaphysical Marks” my work has been concerned with memory . I am particularly interested in our capacity to selectively hold on to or delete experience as we see fit in our attempt to better adapt to our current environment. This is turn of course affects how successful we are when we are forced to relocate and adapt to a new location.
The thematic concepts are developed in the prints through both use of mark making and through the incorporation of photographic image and text. Gloria Hickey, independent art critic, states “Photographs in family albums deal in accessible truths; they have an objectivity that the drawn image does not. Yet Audrey Feltham degrades the image, removing information to replace it with her own.” This deliberate attempt to change the “objectivity” of the image is how I believe the individual deals with memory; we deliberately forget or choose to reinterpret situations so that we can “recollect in tranquility”. Not only is the concept of memory dealt with through the abrading of the family photographic image, but it is also alluded to through the use of mark making. Etched lines, drypoint scratches and deliberate choice of collograph material create layers of background that support the photograph. In addition, physical memories are established through the use of faint stitch marks. They are a record of movement.
Hickey states “the layered use of text, mark making and multiple images is analogous to how we acquire knowledge through accumulated and interconnected subjective experience. Feltham’s prints are multilayered maps to an invisible landscape shaped by personal experience and captured in narrative. The narrative expresses ‘who’ we are as well as ‘how’ we move through the defining landscape. Narrative allows us to share the story with others.
Audrey Feltham, Deer Lake, Nfld. August 15, 2009