Jennifer Mack-Watkins Wins Jealous Printmaking Prize at Woolwich 2022
03 Nov 2022 — 06 Nov 2022
Winning the prize this year meant the gift of a David Shrigley edition!
This year's Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair brought with it an abundance of exciting new work by artists we recognised and others we didn't. It is always a joy to be able to pick one artist's work out as our favourite and put a label beneath it declaring it the winner! This year, when it was Dario's turn to award someone the Jealous Printmaking Prize, he was particularly drawn toward the work of Jennifer Mack-Watkins with her screenprint 'Maya'.
Born in South Carolina, Mack-Watkins is a contemporary visual artist and illustrator based in New York.
The artist's visual aesthetic draws from a confluence of reference points, most of which include her Japanese Mokuhanga printmaking techniques and her culturally rich southern roots. Mack-Watkins’ work investigates societal conformities that isolate individuals to be confined to fit into a space. This space includes the complexities of being a woman, beauty images, relationships, body image, power, and gender roles. - words from jennifermwatkins.com
Mack-Watkins' print, 'Maya', comes from a series of works made for her first solo museum show at Brattleboro Museum & Art Centre, 'Children Of The Sun'. The works were inspired by the W.E.B. Du Bois-edited 'Brownie's Book: A Monthly Magazine for Children of the Sun' first produced in order to bring positive, contemporary content to Black kids in the 1920s who were inundated with media and toys that depicted their culture as less-than. [words taken from the 'Children Of The Sun' press release]
Mack-Watkins describes her own process of printmaking below:
“The process of printmaking allows me to experiment like a scientist. I can build the image through a series of silkscreened transparent layers or carved images using wood as medium. I am allowed to totally control the density of colors by adding drops of pigment to mix the perfect hue. Border lines are hand drawn and cut to form a hard edge. I use patterns and the female as the subject intertwined with photographic images to interrupt the plain white surface of the paper.”