The Learning Connexion has a well-established Printmaking programme, taught by exceptionally skilled artists. We spoke to popular tutor Marci Tackett, whose latest exhibition Energy and Matter is currently running at Solander Gallery in Wellington.
Hi Marci - what makes printmaking a relevant subject to learn for creative people?
Printmaking is an indirect medium. You are always working with an intermediary process. What you see is not necessarily what you get. For an artist who would like to confront perfectionist tendencies this unknowable factor can take the pressure of perfection off because everything is a collaboration with the processes inherent in the medium. For students who would like to develop their patience and attention to detail, printmaking will demand that of them.
We combine modern technology in terms of digital processes with age-old methods to pursue our paths. Students with primary interests in photography, illustration, ceramics and carving have extended their practises by learning printmaking. It is a wonderful, versatile medium!
What's your own particular approach to teaching printmaking?
Over my 14 years of developing the printmaking area at TLC, my primary aim has been to create an environment where people feel encouraged and supported while also feeling free to be experimental and to make mistakes. I think our studio and class structures enable students to learn whatever they want to learn in whatever style of learning suits them best.
My approach to teaching printmaking is to encourage students to follow their interests. All students come to TLC with their own passions and skills. It’s very rewarding to see how they use the broad medium of print to develop and expand their unique viewpoints. I have many years of personal investigation into many techniques and methods of printmaking that I can draw on to help students pursue their unique projects.
Is there a key message you try to instil in students?
The message that I try to instil in students is that they are in charge of their own creative journeys ultimately and that by learning to observe and analyse their processes they will improve their outcomes and they will have an exciting time doing it!
Tell us a bit about the tools and environment of our printmaking studio at TLC. Is it a productive space?
Our printmaking studio is organised around the use of collective supplies. This means that students can try a variety of printmaking techniques before they invest in supplies and equipment. We have an ‘open studio’ approach that means that students are working on vastly different projects but sharing the same space. We learn so much from each other!
What's the idea behind your latest exhibition Energy and Matter?
We all know that when we are looking at a print we are observing nothing more than a thin support (paper) with layers of oil and pigment (ink) pushed into that support by way of a press. In this exhibition, I'm interested in reminding viewers that everything that happens when we see is about perception and the way our brains organise visual information.
Find out more about Energy and Matter here
Follow Marci's creative journey on Instagram here
Take a look at Marci’s process and hear her inspiring message to our 2020 graduates here