About a week ago I visited the Hannah Höch exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery, a german artist well known for her thought-provoking and often humorous collages.
I enjoyed seeing the range of her work,from her early embroidery and fabric designs for illustrated publications like 'The Lady' to photo montages completed just before she died.
I also loved her opinions of embroidery as an art form:
"Embroidery is very closely related to painting. It is constantly changing, with every new style each epoch brings. It is an art and ought to be treated like one.."
I was also really inspired by her earlier work of lino prints and lino print collages, so straight after the exhibition I went to an incredible art warehouse just off Brick Lane and impulsively bought a piece of lino and a cutter. Never having done lino cutting before I didn't know what to really expect apart from the ominous advice of "Be careful of your hands..."
I wanted my first lino cut to be special but also not too complicated, so I decided to design a print of my hand, almost like a self portrait and a bit of a challenge. I drew an image of my hand directly onto the lino and then began the first line of cutting... and realised it wasn't going to be as smooth as I initially thought! Sitting in the garden surrounded by bird, cutting lino was a really lovely experience, something I'll definitely be doing a lot of over summer.
After a few hours of cutting, my hand resembled a claw, faintly reminiscent of Jim Carrey's 'The Claaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw" in Liar Liar. However I was quite impressed with the result and eagerly anticipated the actual printing process...