Churchill Fellow breaks new ground in environmental art

23-Mar-2015

PhD candidate John Dahlsen plans to exhibit the prints in Australia later this year

PhD candidate John Dahlsen plans to exhibit the prints in Australia later this year


A Churchill Fellow has made what could be a world first by creating artworks that combine Japanese woodblock printing with digital environmental art practices.

Charles Darwin University PhD candidate John Dahlsen has created a series of 24 prints featuring digital images using discarded objects found on beaches in Darwin and around Australia.

Mr Dahlsen travelled to Kyoto in Japan to create these prints in collaboration with acclaimed Japanese woodblock carver and print master Sochi Kitamura as part of his Churchill Fellowship.

“I chose to incorporate Japanese woodblock into my environmental art because I believe the practice follows an environmental theme,” he said.

“Japanese woodblock printing is a very natural process in that only natural materials are used, such as water-based inks printed on washi paper made from tree bark.”

While in Kyoto, Mr Dahlsen learned basic Japanese woodblock techniques from Mr Kitamura, such as carving, registering paper for printing, mixing inks and printing the artworks.

“Japanese woodblock printing has opened me up to new creative ideas and possibilities in my work as an environmental artist,” Mr Dahlsen said.

He also travelled to Amsterdam to observe the ways Japanese woodblock influenced the works of Dutch master painter Vincent van Gogh.

Mr Dahlsen plans to exhibit the prints in Australia later this year.