See more work by Laura Boswell here
Primarily interested by colour and shape, Laura Boswell’s work focuses on rural landscape with it’s fascinating light, pattern, seasonality and weather. She finds it the perfect raw material: familiar, local and in a constant state of change.
Her practice encompasses printmaking and the demanding public art techniques of enamelling and cut metal work, which create a tension between the message of her work and delivering it within the restraints of the process. I’m at my happiest when I’m exploring and I try never to get too comfortable either with my images or my technical skills. Teaching and sharing skills are an important part of my work and development; I reap huge benefits from working with all levels of learners as well as collaborating with experts.’
The work evokes a feeling for the familiar and loved, rather than an accurate depiction of a place, perhaps a type of season or day, jogging memories for the viewer of places they have been, weather they have experienced or walks they have taken, depicting space and distance ‘When I see recognition dawn, I know I’m getting it right.’
Many of Laura Boswell’s prints are created using the ancient method of traditional Japanese woodblock printing, which demands patience, discipline and an instinct for balance, her training has included a residency at Nagasawa learning from the experts who are keen to pass on their knowledge. Other work uses reduction linocut process – each layer is printed and the block is progressively cut away, layering colour upon colour to reveal the final image.
Laura Boswell was recently commissioned to produce vitreous enamel panels for the Gyosei Art Trail, which runs alongside the Grand Union Canal and describes the process… ‘For this project I had the Japanese legacy, the slip-slop of canal water and local birdlife to inspire me, balanced with working out how to get full colour images plus Japanese poems onto enamel, then onto the side of a bridge’
To create the panels, she visualised the entire project from sketchbook to bridge wall, before setting her designs down as sketches on paper for approval. Research led her to an accurate progressive seasonal theme for both birds and plants, whilst her own use of space and aesthetic has been reflected in the pictures. Finding a company that used modern technology to print enamel as a transfer for placing onto the metal panels for firing meant that the designs could be more complex than using a handpainted method and linocut was chosen over Japanese woodblock for the more graphic strength of quality, whilst reflecting the style of a British transport poster.
The attractive enamel panels, complete with Japanese poems, are now installed beside the Grand Union Canal as part of the Gyosei Art Trail from H3 Monks Way to H5 Portway in the Parish Council of Great Linford.
Laura has also produced a set of stunning reduction linocut prints from the original blocks, which are available from Lombard Street Gallery.