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Intaglio Printmaker Prize Winner: Christine Duffin

Intaglio Printmaker are pleased to announce that Christine Duffin was the recipient of our prize at Art Academy’s Open Studio . We we drawn in by the playful ‘Alice in Wonderland-esque’ illustrations, and the satirical quality of the print. Read on to discover more about Christine’s work, and the story behind this art piece. 

The World of Unreason by Christine Duffin

The World of Unreason
Drypoint plastic etching on brown wrapping paper
Edition of 10
57 x 49cm

Tell us about the inspiration behind this print.

The piece was designed to resemble a Victorian poster for a circus.  I wanted to take a satirical look at attitudes towards mental health and two important pieces of 19th century legislation i.e., the 1845 Commission for Lunacy which established the mentally ill as ‘patients’ rather than criminals or degenerates; and the 1882 Married Women’s Property Act prior to which husbands were known to marry an heiress and then immediately have them incarcerated.  Despite these changes, asylums and the disabled were often seen as sites of spectacle to be viewed as entertainment.

The etching is based on Francisco de Goya’s The sleep of reason produces monsters.  The ‘monsters’ have been taken out and replaced by figures taken from etchings of artists who had mental health problems (Goya, Albrecht Durer, Mervyn Peake) and features writers and reformers connected with mental health and social reform (George Cruikshank, John Tenniel, Louis Carroll, Robert Wilfred Skiffington Lutwidge, Michael Foucault).  The hand drawn Jerry and Micky Mouse were added as piece of graffiti; as is Foucault’s ‘stuck on’ face like a face-in-hole board.

What made you get into printmaking? 

What most attracted me about printing is the almost endless variety of approaches as I like to experiment with materials and processes.  I like the way you can layer in different ways to build up images and also to experiment with different surfaces.  You can do this with printing in a way that you can’t in other mediums.

Tell us about your other works – are they similar or different? Do you tend to work within one technique?

I am only in the middle of my B.A. in Fine Art so I like to keep my options open.  An important part of my practise is combining mediums and printing for me is a central part of that.  I’m currently experimenting with etching and adding colour via a carborundum layer.

What would be on your ultimate Intaglio Printmaker wish list? 

1. A set of Charbonnel printing inks across the colour spectrum

2. A large box of Awagami edition papers

If you could own 1 artwork, what would it be?

I would choose George Braque’s A tire d’aile (translated as In full flight).

Christine Duffin - About the artist

My name is Christine Duffin and I am currently doing a BA in Fine Art at the Art Academy, London.  I took my first art class in 2015 and haven’t look back since.  I did a Certificate in Drawing and Printing in 2017 at the AAL and continued with doing short courses at various colleges until 2022 when I started my degree.

At the present time I would call myself a mix-media artist with printing as one of my main mediums, particular for narrative work.  Research and experimentation are very much part of my approach and I try to find ways to visually communicate stories and topics from different, and hopefully unusual perspectives.   I like to move back and forth between 2D and 3D mediums and try to find ways to combine them.

I have shown work at the AAL annual print show regularly since 2017.  I have also shown work at the City Lit 2022 Extended Drawing for Artists and Makers exhibition.   I had work exhibited at the Discerning Eye Exhibition in 2019.

Congratulations on your win, Christine. We look forward to seeing what new works you create. 

For more information on Christine’s work, please check out her Instagram page:

Instagram: @christine.i.duffin