By paul June 22, 2010 Re-Tweet This Share
On my latest road trip up north to Kerikeri I discover NZ’s only fully non toxic printmaking studio buried in the lush subtropical gardens of Wharepuke. Mark Graver, who trained at Leeds Polytechnic UK and Camberwell College of Arts in London, now calls Northland home. He practices as a full time print-maker and painter but loves sharing his knowledge through teaching, writing books and exhibiting both in the gallery next to his studio as well as abroad. His passion though, is for printing in a clean, non toxic environment using natural and organic materials. He reckons it’s the only way to sustain the art of printmaking, as the usual methods and materials used are highly toxic leading to many studios and teaching facilities closing down.
But sustainable credentials aside, I love the earthy nature of his work, whether it’s the subject or the very materials he uses. For example, this one of series of colour etchings inspired by Monet’s Water Lilly paintings, Nympheas II …And other etchings, Lavenham and Fairstar….
And in his paintings he mixes in earth, gravel and all manner of natural elements from his immediate environment… as in the painting Drive. I suspect that the very gravelly effect in this work is achieved with elements from his own driveway mixed in with a blend of other media.
So Mark Graver, please carry on your crusade for the true art of printmaking by keeping it clean… and “dirty” in terms of your painting. Oh, and by the way, why not meet Mark by staying at Wharepuke in one the cottages?