The Cutting Edge

The Fine Art of Woodcut

Barry Cleavin, Josh Bashford
6 May to 3 June 2018

Preview: 6 May 4pm

This is woodcut with edge and edginess — the earliest form of printmaking, in the hands of two masterful exponents: NZ’s internationally acclaimed printmaker Barry Cleavin, alongside a young artist already noted for distinctive, fine handling of the medium - Josh Bashford.
Barry Cleavin, master of drawing, etching, aquatint, and digital re-interpretation, returns to the centuries-old technique of pure woodcut, after several years of exploring the combination of traditional printmaking with digital technology. There’s a fascinating cover story in the latest Art New Zealand by Vincent O’Sullivan which talks about this, and Cleavin’s unique way of holding a mirror to the world, our actions, the dark side of human frailties, through his art.
Josh Bashford approaches the woodcut on an unusually grand scale, printed on canvas, with a nod to the tapa works of his Samoan heritage. The bird motif comes to the fore, representing ‘life, freedom, movement’ in swooping, soaring images that flicker with the suggestion of other life within the feathers, in fine detail that tricks the eye – and defies photographic representation. He loses nothing in definition in scaling up to over a metre – now presented as stretched canvasses.