Sue and I were welcomed into the conservatory which serves as Lydia Haines‘ studio. It was a hot day so the temperature inside was bikini appropriate. Around us hung her giant silk paintings and her prints on fabric and paper. She gave us both screens to paint on, encouraging us to experiment, not worrying about trying to make them look perfect, advice Sue ignored as she thoughtfully dabbed away for twenty minutes. When the screens had dried we flipped them over onto paper. Lydia brought out some special seaweed gunk she herself had knocked up that morning, it looked like wallpaper paste. We plopped some into the frames and immediately the paint colours were drawn up into it. We spread the gunk all over the screen, squeegeeing it back and forth, lastly sweeping it off. Then the reveal. We lifted up the screen, peeling back the paper and ta dah! Mine is the brown stripy one, Sue’s is the green and blue one that looks like a tree.
I love the separation between artist and composition that printing provides. The final result is hidden even from the creator until the last moment. It feels magical, surprising.