Judy Collins and Peter Wray

Judy Collins artist statement:

I am a painter/printmaker.  Within painting, I work in oil and mixed-media, and in my printmaking practice, I work mainly with etching and drypoint processes, as I feel these media best reflect my response to my subject matter.

I have always used the landscape as a starting point, not so much in a pastoral sense, but as a reflection upon ‘used’ land, where man works and leaves his mark – the fishing harbours, quarries, open mines, etc.  Most recently I have investigated extremes in weather within these environments – storms, gales, high seas, expressive images of skies, etc. I am fascinated by the energy of the elements, and their interaction with the intrusion of the man-made landscape. The action of extreme weather in such contexts makes me aware of the strength of nature and the notion that it is an enormous ‘thinking thing’. I tend to see these things as occurring at the edge, and because of this, such things as estuaries – natural meeting-points – have particular importance for me.  I also paint collaboratively with my partner, Peter Wray, with whom I also run printmaking courses from HandPRINT Studio in Trewidden Gardens, Buryas Bridge, Penzance.


Peter Wray artist Statement:

Peter Wray was trained as a painter, extending his practice into printmaking in the early 1970s, after being exposed to the richness and unique expressive power of the intaglio surface.

With his background in painting, and being largely self-taught as a printmaker, the integration of painterly methodology into the graphic process was a natural development, and it is this combination of approach which gives his work its distinctive style:- “prints about painting, and paintings about prints”.

His influences are many: semi-religious symbols remembered from a Catholic childhood; the exquisite, accidental, sculptural imagery of the allotment garden; graffiti, and cave paintings enjoyed on travels abroad; the childhood fascination with the ‘printed’ images of fossils found in the shale tips near his home; early memories of coal-mining and, later, steelworks industries, where numbers, shapes, words and marks chalked on oxidizing steel panels held a mystery of meaning which continues to weave its spell for him. Music has been a major influence: Irish traditional music in particular has made a deep and lasting impression, with its melodies providing a counterpoint for all kinds of musical adventures which underpin it and are held within it. He loves to explore the question, – what is important: the dominant melody, or those qualities which contain it or are contained within it? There is no such thing as “just a tune”, as there is no such thing as “just a drawing”. All of this is combined with a rejoicing in the qualities of materials and process and the ‘joy’ of making.

Peter Wray is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE), and teaches regular courses in printmaking.