"Bird trainer"

by Georgie Ellen McAusland

This monoprint was made a few years ago, and remains one of my favourite pieces I’ve made. It’s based on an image I once saw of a woman covered in cockatoos. I tend to draw inspiration from imagery I’ve seen or historical events, whether in museums, in books or on Pinterest. I love when something is a little bit peculiar, whether it’s a strange scene, an odd caption, an outdated habit, a superstition or a wild costume.

I normally using goache, ink and pencil but I like to take my illustrations to wood, ceramics or printmaking, I love experimenting! One reason I love this piece so much is because it achieves my constant quest of marrying together a loose and neat style. When I made this print, I had just left Camberwell where I had been using the printmaking department a lot, using plate lithography making a series on superstition and women. I really enjoyed painting and drawing the images onto true grain and exposing them straight to the plate, completely eliminating any digital intervention. This mono print was made in my bedroom in Brockley, where I had an old, slightly broken press. I was able to create one-off mono prints, which was a delicate process of reducing sticky ink from a plate. I made a series based on circus performers and this lady was one of them.

Since moving country and leaving my press behind, I have found myself missing the texture and finalities that came with these methods of printmaking.

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