Self.identify is an online exhibition that promotes the art of printmaking. The show consists of autobiographical works that creatively question the self within society, culture and history as a self-reflective journey through the artists mind. We provoke questions, such as: Who am I? How am I seen by others? What makes me different? Where am I from? What do I want? What do I need? What makes me happy?…
The exhibition zine will explore how society divides people into categories. We are often asked questions that should not define us: What is your marital status? What is your gender? What is your sexual orientation? What is your religion or belief? What is your ethnic origin?
ARTISTS, CURATORS, PHOTOGRAPHY
Catalogue design by Inês Mourato and Elena Portius
Amy MahoneyI sit staring out the window, looking down over the park counting the people that go past. I’ve started noting them down daily as a sort of ritual; wondering how many people I could see within a certain period of time. I sit on a stall, hand clasped in my lap, completely still; yet my mind is not. I’m trying hard to focus on only the view of the outside but my brain goes into overdrive, making statements and proposing questions no matter how petty. Jogger goes by – ‘remember to reply to that email’. The woman with the Dalmatian comes into view – ‘when was the last time you updated the website? You should update the website’. A man sitting on a bench – I remember a text I sent months ago and think about how I should have replied and how I did at the time. A constraint narrative goes around in my head. It is as if there are reminders constantly going off while in reality there is nothing for me to do. No plans. No commitments. Nothing. My brain is stuck and in denial about lockdown. It doesn’t understand. I don’t fully understand. It constantly swirls around in my head with thoughts and is never satisfied. I close my eyes, embrace the darkness and breath. I let my body naturally wrestle my mind in order to calm it. My breathing and movements oscillate with my thoughts until they find common ground and overlap. Their waves merging into one: still separate but close enough that they begin to blend. Focusing on that overlapping I can finally start to relax. My mind is calmed. I open my eyes and realise the man sitting on the bench is gone, and my mind begins to wonder how long I’ve been here. And so the cycle continues.
Christianna KnightThe print submitted as part of the Self-Identify Print Fair is in reference to the loss of virginity as a woman. Despite being raised in a secular family, I attended a Catholic primary school and this was where I began to harbour feelings of guilt surrounding anything remotely sexual. The Virgin Mary was presented as the perfect, pure woman; she was beautiful, fertile and impossibly, a virgin. Having sex for the first time, was presented to me as something that would “happen” to me. A man would have sex with me and “take” my virgnity, I would lose something. The whole concept of sex and intimacy terrified me because I didn’t want anything to be taken from me, I wanted to be whole. It wasn’t until I did eventually “lose” my virginity that I realised it was all a lie. I didn’t feel any different, I wasn’t any different and I certainly hadn’t “lost” anything.
Emma SikoraRiot for your life was my reaction to what’s going on in America and my current thoughts on the LGBT movement and how we still need to fight for people’s rights even in a pandemic.
GIRL WITH THORNS
Ipek Ibretler, 2020
Lino print, ink on paper
210 x 297 mm
Ipek IbretlerAs a young immigrant woman, I have been finding it very hard during this pandemic.
I print the “when it hurts, hug yourself” for all people who have been apart from their loved ones. Not necessarily alone but feeling lonely, missing that hug that’s not very replaceable. Could be a mother, a lover, a friend, a father… It was the moment that I realised the more I try to hold it together the tighter my thorns get and they hurt me. Every thorn symbolises the worries and grief that many of us experienced and experiencing. For me it hurts more if I don’t I let things go… I accept the fact that, feeling sad sometimes is okay. The more I tried to hold it together the more my thoughts hurts me. Whatever we are all experiencing is okay, and we shouldn’t be harsh to ourselves. Give yourself a hug when it feels like it’s too much…
Irena Lawruszko, 2018
Etching print, ink on paper
200 x 200 mm
Interview with Irena Lawruszko
Elena Portius and Inês Mourato: How did you get into art?
Irena Lawruszko: Art has always been my passion. From a young age I used painting as a way to express myself and my ideas.
EP & IM: Can you tell us about your practice? What does your art stand for?
IL: My art practice explores the subject of familiar architecture under the influence of time. I’m interested in old buildings that are long forgotten and left behind. I use the etching technique as I am able to create mysterious places, that almost have a painterly look.
EP & IM: How has lockdown and Covid19 influenced your art practice?
IL: The start of the lockdown was a strange period. I wasn’t able to access my work place or the university facilities. I was constrained and forced to adapt to work from home. This has gave me time to apply for shows, open calls, etc, as well as, to virtually connect with other artists.
EP & IM: Are you working on any current projects?
IL: I am at the moment working on a written and artistic doctoral dissertation. I am researching on a church that was destroyed with time by humidity.
EP & IM: How would you describe yourself?
IL: I am energetic, joyful and happy. I love graphics, art and to travel. My hobbies are meeting new people, going to the cinema, theatre and pubs with friends.
EP & IM: Can you describe the art process you went through, to create the piece you submitted for the exhibition?
IL: It was through various graphic techniques. At first I painted the design with ink on a transparent film, then I exposed the film with a design to a polymer sheet under ultraviolet light. After the sheet is washed with water and dried. The next step is to bounce on the paper (such as workshop graphics).
Jeeja Navghare, 2018
Wood cut print, red ink on paper
Jeeja NavghareOur world is a reflection of our illusory perceptions. My graphic & painting subjects are ruler life. I am searching my happiness in my work. I work freely and with feeling.
I work in zink plat, lithography, intaglio, mono print, dry point print, wood block print and water base wood block print. All mediums are great because every medium is different. The topic of the print is journey. When there is no space sit in the bus, the bus driver allows the passengers to sit on the top of the bus. Evan thought there is no place the bus, the passengers happily travel. Same is our life. Even if we don’t get anything in our life we travel our life happily. I have taken different tonal value in one colour in this print. I have done the print in the traditional way. I used many human figures in this print, some realistic and some abstract; others merged in the background
Mary-Ann Stuart“And on the seventh day, Sheela Na Gig birthed a snake, who came down upon the Garden of Eden, and impregnated the earth with her venom, from which the earth grew a tree, and Eve ate the fruit from the tree, and gained the knowledge of Good and Evil, and Sheela Na Gig saw this, and she knew that it was good.” – Creation Story, Mary-Ann Stuart, 2020
I have been imagining a world that is truly matriarchal, the quote above is what I imagine the creation story in the bible would be if this was the case. Much of what we believe to be matriarchy when we look back at ancient cultures is in fact the opposite; ancient celts worshipped women for their ability to bear children, but this is not matriarchy – this is still burdening women with the role of the carer, true matriarchy would see a society valuing men for their fertility, and allowing women to do literally anything and everything else whilst the men had to raise the children.
This print I have submitted, “The Gift of Knowledge,” praises the snake for giving the apple to Eve and allowing her the knowledge of good and evil, which she then gives to the rest of humanity. Snakes have for a long time been a symbol of female wisdom, and I want to celebrate the fact that, according to the bible (which much of western culture is built on,) it was the first woman who gave us the gift of knowledge and morality.
Mellissa Fisher‘’ is a Lino print from my previous works on the human microbiome. This print comes in two designs and various colours and is from the project Microbial Me, an art and science collaboration project where I worked closely with scientists to make living sculptures from casts of my body, grown with my own bacteria. Throughout my previous works exploring the microbiome, I seek to find my identity through the anatomy, starting from the smallest part, bacteria. Bacteria are essential for us to live and in the current situation it is important to talk about our relationships with ourselves and others. I am a multidisciplinary artist and work in many mediums including sculpture, illustration, installation, film, photography and printmaking. My career as an artist is based around working collaboratively with science, to reveal the beauty of nature as well as the advances in science technology and healthcare. Most importantly, finding ways to communicate science through visual art and make science accessible to everyone.
LET ME BE MYSELF
Patricia Bidid, 2020
Lino print, ink on SO-HO Japanese paper
210 x 297 mm
Patricia BidiMy visual art researches ideas of identity, place and memory. This linocut print explores the relationship between body, identity and the ability to change into a different impression within a shifting environment.
Selin GökselUnder the stars is a print about the woman, the open femininity is thanking the stars, the nature for being herself, for breathing, for the existence. And then the snowy mountain peak represents the dreams that will be reached whenever the time comes.
Workshop with Selin GökselPRINT WITH RECYCLED MATERIALS
Uli JaegerLooking for a definition of the expression ‘self-identify’, I find ‘(to) describe oneself as belonging to a particular category or group’. Any crisis or change in life brings challenges and forces us to examine ourselves. We suddenly feel insecure and often doubting. Questions bombard our mind; we find it hard to relax or switch off. We struggle, and we feel how the ground which had seemed so reliable, has been pulled from under our feet. At the same time, life has just offered us a huge chance. A crisis, such as the recent pandemic, is also an opportunity. If we keep going and don’t give up, we will emerge knowing ourselves just a little bit better. Our identity will be the same but will have gained another, a richer facet to the awareness of who we are. Due to Covid-19, I have spent the last 4 months with my mother in my parental home, away from my family and in a different country. I’ve been forced to take stock, to re-identify myself, settling back into a community who knew me as a child, yet didn’t really know who I am now. I started to think again in my mother tongue and, more-or-less forced through circumstances, began to selfidentify with a different rhythm and way-of-life… so much so, that occasionally I feel uncertain where I belong. This feeling of uncertainty, being torn into two by the fact that I seem to belong to two different countries, is represented through my submission: small prints depicting an image of a simple circle in two uneven parts. Before the lockdown I’ve been using a nearby printing workshop to establish my practice of etching. As always, the fun seems to start at the end of each printing session when it‘s time to clean up. Being forced to work quickly and without much time to think, i play with colours and push the boundaries of what‘s good practice, printing on dry and unsuitable paper (A6 postcards) rather than using the otherwise expensive dampened Hahnemühle paper. As the inkedup etching plate had been used already, the prints are very faint depicting a certain kind of uncertainty to the viewer as to what is being presented. An occasional piece of paper in a strong primary colour, creased or crumpled up, symbolises the determination to face the uncertainty and the willingness to self-identify yet again.