|Anna's engravings reproduced on postcard|
Her enthusiasm for her work is contagious and it's hard not to want to know more about her work once she starts talking about it. Anna's forte is engraving, a process that starts from sketches on paper, which are transferred to wood; the desired image is then carved out in the wood and all this culminates in works that can either be in black and white or colour printed on rice paper and taking in excess of months to complete. As much as a print can be completed in less time, if an artist is working solely on one piece, in actuality the process from the inception of an idea; which can change over the course of a period, as inspiration is drawn from a myriad of subjects and ideas, to the printing - which is also a process of re-printing and more carving as the artist tries out different colours and proper shades of the final work, can take up to a year. I am reminded of the old adage...'you don't rush art'.
|At work in her Studio|
When I ask how someone with a PhD in Communications got into engraving and print-making, a seemingly old-fashioned art form, she explains that she was studying children's book illustration, because she was and still is interested in writing children's books - when she attended a workshop on wood carving, and thus her love for this genre of art was born. Yes, she admits, engraving is still seen as a traditional art form, and perhaps rightly so because it was not always seen as such. It was more functional as it was used in books and texts as a way to record history. I am equally surprised to learn that many artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Gauguin and even van Gogh all did some form of engraving at some point in their lives, although they have all come to be known more famously for their painting. She introduced her husband, Rudek, to the same workshop, whose repertoire up until that point had always been painting. He also produces small and large prints, along with his huge paintings on canvas; one of which I caught a glimpse of but which was reserved solely for the forthcoming exhibition. In fact, she tells me, they both fell in love with engraving to the extent where they had a printing press on their wedding-gift registry.
|Engraving reproduced on postcard|
Dorothy Akpene, Jennifer Opare-Ankrah and Rudek van der Helm. The exhibition is themed "Migration - Identity" and opens on Thursday December 2nd at 7pm, with subsequent exhibits on Friday 3rd and Saturday December 4th from 4 - 8pm. It will be a combination of exhibits and installations around the theme.
There will be a demonstration in print making at 5pm on the Saturday.
27 Osu Avenue, Ringway Estates.