Cleo Wilkinson - Artist
One of the a few artists working today in the mezzotint printmaking technique Cleo Wilkinson graduated with first class honours degree from Elam Art School (Auckland University) New Zealand .She has continued with further recent studies 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 and Graduate Diploma in Library and Information Science (Australia).
A recipient of numerous major international print awards her work is included in prestigious public, private and corporate collections and has been included in over 200 International Print Biennials, invitational group exhibitions and Annuals in: USA, Canada, Italy, Croatia, Austria, Russia, Bulgaria, Korea, Poland, Spain, Japan, Egypt, Lithuania, Germany, Vienna, Canada, Russia, Turkey,Spain,Mexico, China , Finland ,Australia, New Zealand,Serbia, Ukraine,Macedonia, Argentina,Portugal, Malaysia etc..
Solo exhibitions include : Bulgaria (Sofia & Kazanlak ),Argentina (Sante Fe & Buenos Aires), Venice (Italy), Vancouver (Canada) ,Serbia , Melbourne (Australia) . Cleo has worked in over 30 international locations as an invited Artist in Residence including Studios in Cuba (Havana), Spain (Barcelona), British School at Rome (Italy), Florence, Venice, Perugia (Italy), The Netherlands, Japan, Luxembourg, Greece, Sweden, Finland, New Zealand, Vancouver, Calgary (Banff), Quebec (Canada), New York, Berkeley (USA), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Reykjavik (Iceland) and Berlin (Germany) 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: Davidson Galleries. Seattle USA, Old Print Shop. NYC USA, Old Print Gallery. Washington DC USA.
BULGARIA - SOLO EXHIBITION NATIONAL TV
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.