Cleo Wilkinson - Artist

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One of the few artists working today in the mezzotint printmaking technique Cleo Wilkinson was born in Melbourne (Australia)  and  graduated with first class  honours degree from Elam Art School (Auckland University) New Zealand  .She has continued studies with further  workshops at Oxford University - Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art ,UK, New York Academy of Fine Art NYC,  the Art Students League of New York, Grand Central Academy of Art , NYC USA , Barcelona Atelier of Realist Art , Spain, and Graduate Diploma in Library and Information Science (Australia).

A recipient of over 75  major  international  and national print awards her work is also included in over 90 internationally significant major collections, galleries and museums world wide including the  Victoria  and Albert Museum (London)  and Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts (Tokyo), Yekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts (Russia) and exhibited at the National Museum of China in Beijing .

Her work has been included in over 500 International Print Exhibitions  and Competitions throughout UK,Europe, Asia , Australia/Oceania,  North America, South America  .Cleo is  regularly  invited to  judge  international printmaking  competitions.

Solo exhibitions include : New York (USA),Cologne (Germany) , Bulgaria (Sofia, Kazanlak),Argentina (Sante Fe & Buenos Aires), Venice (Italy), Vancouver (Canada) ,Serbia (Aleksinac ,Vranje & Bela Planka), Australia (Melbourne ), Spain (Barcelona) .

Cleo  has worked in over 40 international locations as an invited Artist in Residence and Guest Artist  including : Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris ,( France), Cuba (Havana),  Spain (Barcelona), British School at Rome (Italy), Florence, Venice, Perugia (Italy), The Netherlands, Japan, Luxembourg, Greece, Sweden, Finland, Slovenia,  New Zealand, Vancouver, Calgary (Banff), Quebec (Canada), New York, Berkeley (USA), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Reykjavik (Iceland) , Berlin (Germany) , China (Shenzhen ),Singapore Tyler Print Institute ,  and Oxford (UK).
Cleo has taken this complex delicate and most physically demanding of all art forms to great heights and diversity. Each image shows a great range of tonal depth which is only obtained through painstaking burnishing of the plate and many trial printings. She has also designed a unique handcrafted roulette to grind the plate which creates a rare stippled texture to the images. 

Represented by: Christian Collin Gallery , Paris France , Davidson Galleries, Seattle USA, Old Print Shop,  NYC USA, New Grounds Gallery , New Mexico USA .Galleri Heike Arndt , Berlin Germany and Denmark. 

 Studio Tour





The mezzotint process was invented by Ludwig Von Seigen in
Amsterdam in 1642. It is a laborious and time consuming
technique for creating a print and primarily for this reason
it is not widely used today.

The mezzotint has rightly been described the most complex
of all art forms. Mezzotint is among the most physically
demanding mediums in art, once tried and quickly abandoned
as “too difficult” for example by the great printmaker MC Escher.

A copper or zinc plate is “rocked” with a curved, notched blade
until the surface is entirely pitted. At this stage an inked plate
would print a rich uniform black. The artist then uses a scraper
or burnisher to flatten the raised parts, a little for dark greys,
a lot for light greys, completely for white (after inking and wiping,
the plate holds no ink where it is smooth).

The result of this process is an image emerging from pitch black
“nothingness” a true analogue to creation. Outlines are simplified
by absence of line, while substance is rendered with a virtually
infinite range of tonal subtlety.

No other art can give birth to such magnificent areas of light and
shade as this purely tonal medium. Imagery is permeated by mystical
elements derived from the unique spatial relationships of the
mezzotint medium. This technique demands a long involved process
the artist can be very closely working on a plate for at least 100
hours before even starting to print the image.