A new role: Digital Fine Art Print Ambassador at NPE Art Residency

Nicola Anthony. Photography by Anne Valluy

Nicola Anthony. Photography by Anne Valluy

I am very happy to announce that from January I was invited to take on the role of Giclee (Digital Fine Art Print) Ambassador at NPE Art Residency, where I just completed a wonderful artist residency in Singapore. What does this mean? I am advising the NPE in-house print experts on the needs of artists when it comes to printing archival, museum quality works. I am also helping to educate artists and galleries on the importance of high quality printing as I have a specialist knowledge in the area, so why not share it? I was thrilled to be interviewed by NPE Art Residency's founder Daryl Goh. Find the interview below or here.

INTERVIEWNPE Art Residency is pleased to announce that Nicola Anthony (Artist) is our official Giclee (Fine Art) Printing ambassador. Nicola was our artist in residence for Oct-Dec 2016 in which she created a body of work that was subsequently exhibited at Intersections Gallery. Here is an interview that Daryl Goh, the founding head of the art residency, had with the well-travelled-and-exhibited artist on her experience with NPE Giclee.

DARYL: We note that you have been working across vast mediums in the last couple of years! What informed the exploration into Fine Art Printing?

NICOLA: I am addicted to exploring and experimenting with any material at my fingertips. My artwork becomes very linked to a particular place or moment because I source materials from where I am based or from my research. In the past this has lead to the use of everything from saga seeds to Xuan calligraphy paper to gold dust. While I was artist in residence at NPE it was fabulous to be surrounded by cutting edge printing technology and to use the facilities to create new works. and this inspired a whole new series of works.

DARYL: What are your thoughts on limited edition-ed Giclee prints as the next best thing to the original?

NICOLA: These giclee or digital fine art prints are so sumptuous and rich. You cannot see any dots or signs that it is a print as the machines are so advanced, so it really is difficult to tell it's a print. The inks are pigment based so this is the closest thing to what I would use for a hand made print. This is also the one type of digital printing that enables me to adhere to the strict standards I have for my art practice: acid free, archival, museum quality artworks which will not fade, yellow, or change colour over time. I am very lucky to have received my print studio training may years ago at Hahnemuehle Fine Art in Germany and UK. This taught me a lot about museum quality printing and the correct papers and inks to use - whilst at NPE they helped me source the high quality watercolour textured paper produced at the Hanhemuhle papermill, to use with their machines.

DARYL: How has NPE Giclee helped your artistic processes through your residency at NPE Art Residency?

NICOLA: It helped me to create artwork at a larger scale and to transform works I had been producing with drawing and photography, into an exclusive limited edition print. I always find that exploring new processes helps to push my boundaries and be more experimental. I am a very hands-on artist, and those that know my work will also know that my projects usually involve nearly impossible tasks such as stringing together 10,000 ping pong balls (Ouroboros, 2015), or finding and hand numbering 6000 saga seeds from around Singapore (6000 Moments, 2016) or drawing on paper purely by cutting lines into it with a scalpel or burning in pointillism technique with incense sticks (Intersection Series, 2016-17). I have previously shied away from giclee printing because the process is less hands on - less messy! - than I am used to. However, during my residency I found that the work I did to create the final image could still be as complex as I liked, it was simply the final process of printing which was streamlined.

DARYL: What was the most interesting part of developing your work with NPE Giclee?

NICOLA: The moment which made my senses tingle was seeing that final print emerge on the gorgeous paper, but here is an interesting secret about the creative process: For some the word 'digital' can conjure up an image of something less tactile or creative, so I would like to explain the journey of this artwork... I had been working on sketches and maps of connections, creating vast drawings of webbed, intersecting lines. With my traditional pen on paper technique I drew my ideas from the lines on our palm which some people believe map our destiny; the interconnections on a family tree or a social network; as well as lines which span back into history to connect us to the past. What I wanted was a swirling tangle of timeline, because I believe these things are often complex, misunderstood or forgotten. We often don't know much about history even as we live our day-to-day on the surface whilst sensing the past under our feet in a historic place - it's presence and enormity. Then I started adding in shreds of paper as well as drawn lines, building up a paper labyrinth. In the end I photographed this before digitally processing it and finally printing it on a textured paper akin to the original paper of my drawing. So in the end, it's part print, part sculpture, part drawing!