Louise Almon | Present in Absence
The process of hand printing that I use for creating these images is at once conscious and deliberate while the imagery depicted is usually unconscious and spontaneous. The works are produced using oil inks on paper through a monoprint technique whereby I layer colour upon colour to create a rich base texture. I then turn the paper over and continue to work from the reverse side by using strong line drawing, marks and other manipulations to pick up further layers of colour to bring out the image on the textured side.
The very process involves a direct and mindful state. The lines, marks and manipulations are drawn in “absence” of the initial textured colouring and design and only spring spontaneously to life once the paper is turned. This is when the images are finally revealed as part of the initial layering and become “present”. I also describe the works as being “present in absence” as they portray a quietness, or an aloneness, of the figures. A presence in, and because of their absence. The negative spaces hold the figures in place and in some cases merge with the positive images. It is in this “in-between space” or “the negatives spaces around the figures” that I believe the energy is most keenly felt, and most present in its absence.
This body of work is the culmination of an intensive year of highly personalised layering of oil inks, line drawing, markings and manipulations. But it also represents over thirty years of development and experimentation with paints, paper and other materials to arrive at a signature drawing and printing technique. In this exhibition, I use it to explore what is present in life by its absence.