Stewart Hall
Art Gallery

Pte Claire Quebec

Woodbldock Print Exhibition

Montreal Artist...
Ingeborg HISCOX - René DEROUIN - Claire LEMAY

Toronto Artist...
Brian KELLEY - Elizabeth FORREST

NewBrunswick Artist...

Val-David, Quebec Artist...

British Columbia Artist...

Walter J. Phillips (1884-1963):
Historic Wood Block Prints


As part of the celebration of Quebec's Mois de l'art imprimé, the Stewart Hall Art Gallery is proud to present Canadian Wood Block / Relief Prints, a selection of works from eight artists from across Canada who use the relief print medium as their focus. The relief printing process is one in which part of the surface of a flat block is cut away to produce the raised image. The block is then inked and the raised areas are printed. Each colour requires a new block. Traditionally relief printing used wood as the matrix. However other materials, such as linoleum, are also used.

Each of these Canadian artists offers a contemporary look at an age-old print process. The result is an exciting and individualized view of wood block printing today.

Bonnie Baxter, founder of the Atelier du Scarabée in Val-David in 1983, has returned to printmaking after exploring other media for the past ten years. In her recent Chi-Chi doggie series, layers of imagery and colour engulf the archetype form, its shamanistic powers revealed beneath the surface. Best known for his abstract wood block prints that evoke the northern landscape, René Derouin is the master of the contemporary wood block/relief print in Quebec. His expressive works reflect his multidimensional vision that centers on territory, migration and identity. Erik Edson, from New Brunswick, creates large wood block prints by working on multiple sheets of paper that often become a configuration of the image. His animal forms and built structures speak of the domestication of nature. Brian Kelley and Elizabeth Forrest are two printmakers from Toronto. Elizabeth Forrest spent eleven years in Japan, the birthplace of the wood block tradition. While her "straw series" denotes her desire to interpret social phenomena and the rituals of human interaction, especially that of other cultures, Brian Kelley captures the romantic notions of the bountiful land. His multiple colour images of forests and waterfalls speak of the legacy of Canadian landscape painting. The numerous layers and repetitive imagery in the work of Ingeborg Hiscox are illustrative of the many facets of the wood block print process. The complexities in her work denote a remarkable technical expertise; one that is evident in all the artists in the exhibition. Like Hiscox, Claire Lemay is active in the Montreal print milieu and has developed a very personal expression with the wood block print. Using literary or historical references as part of her iconography, Lemay blends the past with the present and, in her hangings, introduces a sculptural aspect to this centuries-old print tradition. In his series honouring the lighthouses of Canada's coastal waterways, B.C. printmaker, Graham Scholes, often uses up to fifteen or so different colours in his wood block prints – each requiring a separate block.In the Project Room :

Walter J. Phillips (1884-1963):
Historic Wood Block Prints
The Stewart Hall Art Gallery is delighted to present a selection of woodcuts and wood engravings by Walter J. Phillips, the father of wood block printing in Canada, from the collection of Philip Adamson, grandson of the artist. Our thanks to the Estate of the artist, Philip Adamson, and Roger Boulet for making this exhibition possible.