Why printmaking I hear you cry. Well, it’s woodcut printmaking to be specific. I’ve been a bit stupid about this for decades; my lifelong commitment to a primitive mark was going OK but I needed something else. I’ve been a builder and maker all my life with a love of woodworking so looking back at putting my drawing and carpentry together just seems ridiculous to have missed it for so long. But what’s done is done and the main thing is that the epiphany occurred about five years ago. I like to think that it was a bit like Rothko thinking ‘you know what, I’m just going to do massive ethereal swathes of iridescent colour from now on, see how that pans out’. Or Pollock making a promise with himself to only drip paint for the rest of the day just to see where brushless painting would take him.
Woodcut printmaking slows me down and allows me to put great industry into the simplest mark. It also offers the magic of happenstance and unpredictability which allows no end of inspiration and frustration, but mainly inspiration.
I’ve never told anybody this before but I made a decision to fully embrace two dimensions so my work is right on the surface of the paper. I make no apologies for being the polar opposite of the ‘Star Wars’ special effects team but I don’t believe that my design ability is any less sophisticated; I create restriction to search for creativity. You should try it, restriction is actually very liberating.
My name is John Pedder and I think of bullshit like this literally all the time!
Watch my creative process in a short film here https://vimeo.com/287922935