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  • Writer's pictureChiara

Ugliness

Updated: Apr 12, 2018

My first approach to the Monoprint project was to test the limits of the medium and of my concept. In doing so I created some truly ugly prints. Here the kikuyu grass prints are layered with a blue blended roll and the ghost of a house stencil in black. The result is dark and crowded. This is not how I want my final prints to look. I'm aiming to depict ambivalence or ambiguity, rather than sheer ugliness. For me ugliness needs to be nuanced and composed in a visually interesting way. So this print is an experiment, not a destination. Apart from its ugliness, the composition, with the centrally placed roof-line is rather static, whereas the kikuyu grass elements in themselves are animated, if disturbing.


Researching monotypes and ugliness led me to think about Tracey Emin's Family Suite 1994. These early works exploit the characteristic grittiness and wavering line of monotypes produced by drawing on to the back of a piece of paper which has been laid over black ink rolled out on a slab. Their raw emotive power is typical of Emin's work. I am not aiming to make such openly confessional work, but it's good to be reminded of it as an element of the dilemma I face.

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