This catalogue entry discusses a group of works; details of the individual work are given at the end of the introductory text.
This group of prints represents nearly the entire printed output of the artist up to 1983 and is one of the largest public collections of his prints. The titles were all given by the artist. Those prints bearing the stamped monogram ‘f’ were stamped by the Tate Gallery at the artist’s request.
The artist has said that print-making represents for him a ‘traditional pursuit’. Flanagan began to make prints in 1970. His prints (and drawings) often have a very personal content and can be seen as akin to private memoranda. Sometimes used as gifts for friends, they record aspects of the artist’s personal life. He first published prints with the Rowan Gallery in 1972, a year in which his print-making was prolific. Thereafter he published series of prints with Bernard Jacobson Gallery in 1976 and Waddington Graphics in 1983.
In 1981 Flanagan exhibited a comprehensive range of his prints and drawings at the Mostyn Art Gallery, Llandudno. The exhibition travelled to Mold, Cardiff, Swansea, Southampton and London and then, in 1983, toured in Italy, France and Holland. In the early 1980s Colin Dyer, working with the artist in his studio, completed archival sets of prints using cream Vélin d’Arches paper. Those etchings in the Sue Flanagan donation printed on white paper are generally those which the artist printed at Petersburg Press, at Burleighfield Press (with David Harding) or in his own studio in the early and mid 1970s.
Many of the prints have a small dark rectangle at one of their edges which results from the etching process. David Brown explains:
In the preparation of etching plates, they are ‘smoked’ in a flame to produce a fine, even covering of wax, the plate being held by a pair of tongs and therefore unaffected by the ‘smoking’ process would be waxed later, but with these prints, Flanagan chose to eliminate this final stage leaving a small area etched by acid and absorbing the ink (Barry Flanagan: Etchings and Linocuts, exh. cat., Waddington Graphics 1984, [p.3]).
So characteristic of Flanagan’s etchings is this black mark, it can almost be seen as a second ‘signature’.
These entries are based on conversations with Sue Flanagan and Colin Dyer and have been approved by the artist.
P02817 McBrayne's Ferry
Linocut 303 x 358 (12 x 14 1/2) on cream Vélin d'Arches paper 379 x 571 (15 x 22 1/2); printed by Colin Dyer c.1983 and published by Waddington Graphics; artist's proof aside from the edition of 35
Inscribed with artist's monogram ‘f' and ‘AP 6/18' below image b.r. and ‘McBrayne's Ferry' below image bottom centre
Lit: David Brown, Barry Flanagan: Etchings and Linocuts, exh. cat., Waddington Graphics, 1984, [p.4], repr. [p.2] in col.; [Elizabeth Knowles (ed.)], Barry Flanagan Prints 1970-1983, exh. cat., Tate Gallery, 1986, p.30.
David Brown writes:
‘McBrayne's Ferry' was cut by Flanagan while he was sitting in the fo'c'sle of a small ferry in the west of Scotland. He had travelled up in a van from London with friends (‘riding shotgun' as he puts it), taking furniture and tiles to their house on the island of Cara, off the coast of Argyll. The tractor was picked up at one of the ferry's ports of call.
‘McBrayne' is the name of the firm which operates ferries between the island of Cara and the mainland. P02817 is printed in vermilion ink.
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, pp.333 and 353-4