Influential printmaker’s exhibition and talk delights at UC’s School of Fine Arts
The University of Canterbury’s (UC) School of Fine Arts (SoFA) welcomed back printmaking artist Barry Cleavin with an exhibition in the Ilam Campus Gallery and an artist talk. UC students, staff and members of the local arts community heard anecdotes about Cleavin’s practice and life experience, from developing his skills in the SoFA from 1963 to 1966 to his life as a practising artist.
Cleavin uses labour-intensive, age-old techniques as well as, more recently, digital techniques to produce artworks of extraordinary precision.
“If these things flutter off the press, what are they doing, what are they all about?” Cleavin asks. “Most of them are about the links between words and images and the madness about the way that some things are simply fanciful.
“So the works become comments, some of them are low ebbs, end-of-the-line jokes, but sometimes they are not jokes. So people have to work out what is a joke – and then, at a certain age, does it matter?”
Cleavin won an Arts Council scholarship in 1972 to study with Gabor Peterdi, Professor of Printmaking at Yale University, and James Koga, Master Printer at the Honolulu Academy of Arts.