The RBSA fosters ambition in its artists and is a great organisation to join if you’ve just moved to the area, as Lynda White found out…
Lynda White is a printmaker inspired by the natural world.
She studied at the School of Art, Swindon, where she first encountered lino and screen printing.
Lynda has just moved to Birmingham and her return to printmaking comes after working for 30 years as a special needs teacher and Assistant Headteacher in Swindon and London.
‘I’ve always drawn and painted,’ she says, ‘but it was when I picked up my studies again that I discovered the wider processes of printmaking.
‘I enrolled at Morley College in Lambeth. It was there that I learnt etching from Frank Connelly as well as revisiting monoprinting and drypoint.
‘I found etching wasn’t for me, but I did meet someone involved in sculpture and printmaking and we still work together from Faye Haskins’ studio in London.’
It was during this time that Lynda first began to sense a real ambition to take her art more seriously, and a trip to Birmingham to the RBSA cemented her resolve. She knew a move was on the horizon, and found inspiration at the gallery.
‘I was always impressed that my friend called herself an artist, and it was only after I first visited the RBSA that I thought ‘When I move to Birmingham I’m going to be an artist too.’
During the upheaval of packing up her home, she turned to her art.
She says: ‘That visit to the RBSA gave me the confidence to get started. The move was also an important factor in that I now have more space to work.
‘I got my first piece in the RBSA’s Open exhibition and couldn’t believe it. I recall scanning the lists and eventually finding my name. It was so exciting!’
‘Field’ was produced as part of a series based on remembered images from a holiday in Cornwall.
‘I think they were about letting loose.
‘There was a real physicality to the way these monoprints were created using small rollers and rubber inking scrapers on multiple plates.
‘I also made a collagraph, Spine, as a graduation gift for my goddaughter, who had just qualified as a chiropractor.
‘The process involved is very different to the monoprints. I found some card on my garage floor to use as the basis of the plate, scratched into it, and applied some PVA… I wasn’t sure how it was going to print. It’s like magic when you lift up the paper and see the results. That’s part of the appeal of printmaking!
‘Evolution was a commission based on ammonites, again it was a collagraph. Produced as a Varied Edition, it’s about growth and change, as well as the imprints and traces left behind.
‘Another collagraph plate was printed behind it as a blind emboss to show this but also to create texture. Colour was added by sweeping a large roller very lightly across the inked plate.’
Lynda is now thinking of where she will next exhibit and sell her work.
‘I’d like to put something forward for the next RBSA Open and Prize Exhibitions, as I was so impressed with how they hung my work at the Friends Exhibition.
‘With a blind emboss, you don’t see the imprints if it isn’t hung correctly, but the install team hung it beautifully. I was so pleased.’
Much of the behind-the-scenes work at the RBSA is carried out by members and Lynda has herself volunteered to steward, and hopes to get more involved.
‘It’s a brilliant organisation as it’s a real, working gallery, and the range on show is extremely varied. The RBSA draws in some incredible talent.
‘I want to progress to become an Associate and then a Member, and I think you exhibit three works before you can be considered… it’s all part of developing as an artist.
‘I now call myself a printmaker. It still makes me hold my breath, but I feel I am on my way.’
Find out more about joining the RBSA here… If you join before the end of the year, you get the remaining weeks in 2017 added to your 2018 membership!