Artist: Ieuan Edwards
"Rescue 3" (2013) A hand-pulled linocut of a rescue worker from Number 6 Pit at the Tylorstown Collieries in South Wales.
Based on a photograph from 1914. My grandfather worked as a collier in a nearby pit and this image's placement on a sail represents his journey from the coalfields of Wales to the clean, rejuvenating air of the Kent coast – originally on holiday and eventually to live. It also honours the miners of the Kentish collieries.
I am a Broadstairs-based illustrator and printmaker, working mainly in linocut. Producing a lino print involves a number of processes and skills including drawing, carving and inking a lino block and finally creating the printed image on a printing press or sometimes simply by hand. In addition to the (deceptive) simplicity of linocut I enjoy the physical nature of making art in this way and I love seeing the evidence of the artist's individual marks and cuts in the final prints – each of which are unique.
My heritage, and chief inspiration for initially picking up a lino-cutting tool, lies in the (ex) coal mining communities of the Rhondda Valleys, South Wales. Mainly working from vintage photographs, as well as my own, my mission in lino is to honour and emulate the spirit, energy and "edge" of the Expressionist originators of the medium; one which has often been used through the years, and across the world, in political and protest art.
As well as industry, my other areas of interest are tradition (the stranger, the better), eccentricity, tribalism, folklore and the human interaction with the animal kingdom. Living on the Kent coast – with its heady mix of seaside towns, folk festivals, history and colourful characters – provides me with a plentiful supply of subject matter. By finding new avenues for my designs (which have recently included a poetry anthology and an album cover) I hope to help elevate linocut as a legitimate and thought-provoking contemporary form.