Denise Hawrysio told us about her work and brought along some of her beautifully-made books, including a silver and gold duo in which the interaction of glue and paper is causing chemical changes -A large volume containing sections of a drawing that once stretched right round a room -
One of the four "Killing" books (the mink), made from fur coats found in thrift shops (the rabbit is in the V&A) -
"The Spotlight Project" has developed over a decade, starting with a catalogue of actors, from which she cut the faces. Video, photographs, prints, and site-specific installations have resulted -
Over the years Denise has worked in film, video and installation, as well as printmaking. One project, "Red Period Blue Period", consisted of making 120 books, and giving them to prisoners to use for one month; they were exhibited in Aalst, Belgium in 1994:
She mentioned Anthony McCall's film works (especially Line Describing A Cone) and A L Rees as influences during her film studies, and the wonderful presentation of her work is due to a bookbinding course with "the masters" of traditional technique at London College of Printing.
Looking at her website, I'm intrigued how her "situational prints" integrate conceptualised practices into printmaking - she "produces her prints by employing external agents: human and physical (such as cars driving over etching plates). The prints are a collaboration between the artist and the world as she finds it; the actions and motions of Hawrysio's surroundings leave their mark on her art, with the result that each print is a still, a frozen interface between the materials of art and the physicality of the world." As written in the catalogue to the exhibition, "life takes on richness according to its ability to record its own actions". (There seems to be a lot of that reflexivity around at the moment - art that embodies the record of its making.) Her use of "diagrammatic and cartographical possibilities", and "quasi-rational repetitions and palimpsestic layering," also resonate. "The Situationist idea of the construction of the event" and "the Dadaist project of returning the everyday to art" might be relevant to where my own project is going (or coming from).