Boodle Hatfield Printmaking Prize with Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair – Q&A with shortlisted artist, David Caldwell

We are delighted to have been advising and supporting Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair for a number of years. At the 2019 edition of the Fair, the Boodle Hatfield Printmaking Prize was launched, followed by a prize giving evening in late February 2020 at which the shortlisted prints were displayed and the winner announced. At the 2020 edition of Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair, members of the Art Law & More team selected ten shortlisted prints for the 2021 Boodle Hatfield Printmaking Prize. Over the coming weeks we are getting to know some of our ten shortlisted artists through a series of Q&As. The next artist in our Q&A series is with David Caldwell, who is shortlisted for his print ‘Surf 2’.

What is the inspiration behind your shortlisted print?

Witnessing the forces of nature during the winter storm unleashing it’s fury right before me. The atmosphere was energised as was I, and nothing else existed in that moment. I was drawn to this compelling force and felt a reverence and at one with nature. This print always reminds me of that moment in time and rekindles the emotions and feelings I felt. Sublime and humbling!

What methods of printing do you use?

My shortlisted artwork is a digital print on Awagami Kozo, a natural Japanese handmade paper, slightly translucent, that enhances the luminosity of the waves and sky.

My artworks are built up of many transparent layers, giving greater depth, form and texture. The framework of my artwork is digital, and experimentation in traditional etching techniques has strongly influenced the way I work. The camera is an important tool for me whilst on location to capture those atmospheric moments, which are so fleeting and transient.

How did you get into printing?

I studied at the Laird School of Art, Birkenhead, in the mid 70’s and then majored in graphic design at Manchester Polytechnic. Here, I discovered through experimentation my passion for printmaking, particularly in the various disciplines of etching and the wonderful textures and patterns I could create, so suited to my moody atmospheric landscape artworks.

Having worked in London for over 40 years as a graphic designer I have always been strongly influenced by my early days at art school. In the 90’s I attended the London College of Printing to upgrade my graphic design skills and embrace the emerging digital technologies which were revolutionising the creative industry.

How has the pandemic affected your work?

Travel restrictions, have prevented me from exploring the remote landscapes and seascapes that I love. However the lockdown has given me the time to experiment more, try out new ideas and also reacquaint myself with previous works. My creativity most certainly helps me feel so much more grounded and uplifted during these challenging times.

I currently have artworks being exhibited at two galleries in London, but sadly they’re in lockdown also!

I feel displaying art at home is a must for everyone at this time. It helps to enhance our health and wellbeing.* Although ‘locked down’ my artworks transport me back to moments when I’ve been captivated by the sublime in nature.

* There is a growing body of evidence that art improves health and wellbeing in hospital environments. I exhibited in April 2018 at the Menier Gallery who supported the charity ‘Paintings in Hospitals’. Sadly the physical gallery closed in 2020. You can follow them on twitter: @MenierGallery @artinhospitals

You can see more of David Caldwell’s artworks and photography at www.affordableartfair.com and www.mrcandmrd.com

Surf 2

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