- Gillian Carnegie born 1971
- Aquatint and etching on paper
- Image: 352 × 275 mm
- Presented by the Tate Americas Foundation, courtesy of Andrea Rosen 2022
Ponoka 2004 is a portfolio of nine etchings of different sizes. It was Carnegie’s first print portfolio (at the time of writing she has produced two others) and was published in an edition of thirty-seven with one printer’s proof and eight artist’s proofs. This copy is the first of the artist’s proofs. Each of the nine etchings is individually signed and numbered by the artist. The portfolio is presented in a hinged solander box covered in brown wiboline which bears the artist’s name in black and was made by G. Ryder & Co. Ltd, Bletchley. The title and colophon pages were designed by Phil Baines and typeset in Strayhorn. They were screenprinted at Coriander Studio, London. The nine colour etchings are printed on 300gsm Hahnemüle etching paper at Thumbprint Editions Limited, London by Peter Kosowicz and were published by Charles Booth-Clibborn under his imprint, The Paragon Press. The etchings comprising the portfolio were made using between one and three plates and a range of etching techniques inluding hardground, aquatint, deep bite, photo-etching, drypoint, burnishing and polishing.
The series was inspired by Carnegie’s visit to Ponoka, a town in Alberta Province, Canada whose name is a transliteration of the native people’s word for ‘Black Elk’. The artist has said that since this was her first foray into printmaking, she wanted to try her hand at as many printmaking techniques as possible (conversation with Tate curator Aïcha Mehrez, 14 November 2017). Although printmaking is a separate activity to her usual painting practice, there are parallels to be drawn between her regular use of thick painted impasto (in paintings such as Black Square 2008 [Tate T12935]) and the layering process involved in the various etching techniques employed in these prints. Furthermore Carnegie’s particular and deliberate attention to ‘mark-making’ translates from paint into print, as has her distinctive colour palette of tones of green, yellow, brown, cream, grey and black.
As she often does when painting, Carnegie began some of the prints from photographs; Coney, in which a figure stands in silhoutte against gently rippling waves at sunset is based on a still from the American film director and video artist George Kuchar’s film Color me Lurid – The Weird World of George Kuchar (1964). Untitled 2 is based on a still from a film by Werner Herzog in which an intense yellow slowly fades into white. Other prints in the portfolio, such as Green Mountain which depicts another figure in silhoutte walking away into the background along a dark tree lined avenue towards a large green mountain, relate to specific paintings by Carnegie. Several other prints from the portfolio (Black Square, Untitled 1, Untitled 4, Maze and Hotel) also relate to paintings.
Lisa Panting, ‘Profile: Gillian Carnegie’, Art Monthly, no.250, October 2001, pp.20–1.
Polly Staple, ‘The Finishing Touch’, frieze, no.64, January–February 2002, pp.72–5.
Clarrie Wallis, ‘Gillian Carnegie’, Painting Now, exhibition catalogue, Tate Britain, London 2013.
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