Tutor spotlight : Michelle Keegan
Michelle Keegan is no stranger to our workshop or indeed WYPW having received our Flourish Award for Excellence in Printmaking back in 2014. An experienced printmaker, Michelle has been sharing her love and passion for print extensively throughout her career either through the delivery of workshops not only with ourselves and other print workshops across the country but also by working as a tutor for the Open College of the Arts and a Senior Lecturer in Printmaking at The University of Northampton.
Her own practice explores a range of intaglio techniques with the importance of process and the physicality of the materials with which she chooses to work an integral part of the process. About her approach to practice Michelle states, “The images emerge through allowing the print process of etching and the personality of the metal, on which the images are constructed, to become essential to the visual dialogue. The nature of the process demands clarity of thought, precision and reflection throughout the making process.”. Her preferred subject matter lies within exploring the boundaries between people, places and liminality. Investigating the dynamics and ambiguities of relationships, therefore exposing private ways of seeing and that of wider public discourses.
“Drainage dykes, sea walls, and electricity pylons are structures of modernity that traverse the flat expanses of the marshland. These act as departure points for sketches that I make on site during visits to the South (I strongly identify with Romney Marsh, where I spent much of my childhood and adolescence, as my spiritual home, it is a place whose desolate and minimal characteristics continually ‘haunt’ the aesthetic of my work). The drawings are then playfully distorted into overlapping layers of line and texture on zinc and copper plates. The etching process becomes one of spontaneous transcription, of feelings and memories, both familiar and elusive, which evolves as I work. The results are intricate and complex multi-layered prints that resist literal interpretation and lack referential scale. Honouring instead a physically charged and deeply personal mapping of the environment.”
Despite her extensive knowledge, the importance of continued curiosity and experimentation is always there; “I’ve been teaching Printmaking for over 25 years, but nothing gives me greater pleasure than visiting a print workshop and undertaking a course myself and a visit to a print workshop can provide welcome motivation and inspiration to develop ideas and work in new directions.”
Michelle will be with us again in March next year to teach her ever popular ‘Layers and Line’ workshop – we hope some of you decide to join us and benefit from her enthusiasm for exploring something new! You can see more of Michelle’s work on her Website.