City Lit Blog

Q&A with Melody Clark - Fine Art Printmaking 2018

Story added 30th May 2018

Untitled, Melody Clark (collograph)


With two City Lit Printmaking shows opening next month, we took some time to catch up with exhibiting student Melody Clark to find out more about her experiences of the course and her plans for the future.


'Pressing Time' featuring Melody's collograph and monotype works, Private View - Thursday 21 June 17:00-20:00 and exhibition open: Monday 18 - Friday 22 June 2018 at R.K. BURT GALLERY, 57 Union Road, London, SE1 1SG

What inspired you to sign up to the Printmaking course at City Lit?

I attended some printmaking short courses and soon realised I absolutely loved the potential for surprising results, as the process can be determined but not always the outcome.  My paintings and drawings often became overworked as I desperately tried to resolve them, so printmaking offers a freedom of sorts.  The year-long Fine Art Printmaking Course at City Lit was the next step for me to explore and expand my ideas and skills in a sustained manner.  

What was your background prior to signing up to your course at City Lit?

I studied BA Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art. For my degree show I made a sound piece comprising 68 tannoy speakers facing each other on two large plinths, whispering to each other a soundtrack of secrets I recorded from friends, family and strangers.  Very different from making prints! 

Have you always had a passion for art and design, or is it something that has developed more recently?

For as long as I can remember I have made drawings and paintings.  Since graduating from Wimbledon ten years ago I have been raising a family and working, so opportunities to forward my art practice were limited.  The City Lit ADFAP course is part time so could be fitted around my work and family responsibilities.

Ahead of the forthcoming exhibition, can you tell us a little more about your final project and the influences behind it?

In the second term of the course we were given a project to make an artist’s book, something I had never before thought of doing. I wanted the subject and form of my book to be integrated, so began to research folded paper. This became the basis of both my artist’s book and final project. Philosophers including Deleuze, Foucault and Leibnitz have written on the subject of folds, and this has greatly influenced my work. Folds reveal different views of a whole, surface and depth, difference and repetition, interiority and exteriority.  I started folding and unfolding, inking, printing and layering paper, and have achieved some wonderfully unexpected results.

How has the course transformed your approach to your work? Has it helped you with mapping out your future goals in any way?

The course has given me the opportunity to generate and consolidate my ideas.  I am certainly making different work from previously, and have more confidence in my ability. I am now sure that printmaking is the medium that best suits my practice and concerns, and am looking forward to further developing my skills in processes such as etching and drypoint.

What’s the dynamic like on the course?

There is a mix of very experienced printmakers alongside less so. We each have different styles and subjects which makes for interesting discussion. Everyone is very supportive of one other and knowledge is happily shared. 

What’s the best thing about studying at City Lit?

The regular and specialist tutors have all been extremely helpful and knowledgeable.

Finally...have you got any exciting plans going forward?

Yes.  By the end of the course I should have enough work, ideas and contextualisation to apply for MA Printmaking courses. Exciting times ahead!


Artist statement - Melody Clark

For me, printmaking is a kind of freedom.  I make gestural, intuitive marks on matrices including plastic, lino, wood and cardboard which I then ink and print, either by hand or using a relief press.  The prints achieved this way are always a surprise to me.  These images are non-referential, nuanced and with the quality of line that only printmaking can give. 

More recently I have been using folded paper as the matrix.  The resulting prints reveal the process of folding, unfolding and refolding. I have worked on Japanese papers with varying transparency and layered the prints so the final pieces suggest surface and depth, interstices and spaces.

Follow Melody on Instagram: @melodyannclark



'Pressing Time' Printmaking show

18-22 June 2018, R.K.Burt Gallery