Deborah Bell's Alchemy
To coincide with Deborah Bell’s second solo exhibition, Collaborations II, at David Krut Projects in 2010, David Krut Publishing released Deborah Bell’s Alchemy. This catalogue tracks the evolution of her art over the last ten years of working in collaboration with David Krut Print Workshop (DKW), and a full archive of works done during this period can be seen. The text was taken from a series of conversations between Bell and Krut.
Her first meeting with David Krut in 2000 led her to work on prints with UK Master Printer Jack Shirreff at 107 Workshop, UK. Shirreff introduced her to a way of printing colour which allowed her to make much larger and bolder works. In 2008, she was introduced to New York Master Printer, Phil Sanders, who devised a method of etching, using three or four plates that would emulate the depth of her paintings and bring out colour in her prints. Sanders’ has an ability to bring about atmospheric colours through his understanding of printmaking.
Bell has her own studio in the town of Magaliesburg. In December 2009, Jillian Ross took time from printing at DKW to help Bell set up an etching press in her studio. During this time, Bell started paying homage to earlier images from previous collaborations, by revisiting earlier work done with Robert Hodgins and William Kentridge. In February 2010, Bell was the first artist to collaborate with Jillian Ross in the new DKW at Arts on Main, in Johannesburg, and ‘christened’ it by working on existing works and creating a series of new monotypes.
Bell’s work is fundamentally informed by a personal search for the ‘self’ and she often draws on spiritual imagery from a wide range of sources. The connection to ancient sources and memories is linked to her spiritual beliefs and how she defines herself as an artist in Africa.
Written by Juliet White
8 x 8 in