Jill Webster




Eastern Institute of Technology, Hawke's Bay


Jill Webster studied Graphic Design in the mid 1970s at Auckland University of Technology in a pre-digital era and was taught many hand-on skills in the process, among them, printmaking processes. Although she worked as graphic designer she always maintained a practice in screenprinting, producing cards, posters and fabric for garments, which she sold through craft outlets.
She later returned to study to learn graphics software and expand her knowledge of printmaking practice, and then worked as a gallery technician and graphic designer, designing gallery text panels and catalogues to document art exhibitions.
In 1998 she was employed at Eastern Institute of Technology in Hawke_s Bay as a part-time tutor in graphics and printmaking. In 2005 she gained her Masters in Fine Art through Auckland University_s Elam School of Fine Art and also a full-time teaching position.
The ideas explored in her printmaking practice are ones of change and process, with work frequently being exhibited in ways that can be assembled in various formats. In her own printmaking both digital and traditional processes are employed, the digital being mainly used to prepare images for screens or plates. She has carried her knowledge of both graphics and print into her teaching encouraging this same crossover of practice with her students.


The Invisible Matrix - How a digital and traditional  printmaking practice can support one another


Since the release of the film, the word matrix conjures scenarios of confused realities and minds controlled by machines, most notably computers. It appears that some of this fear has invaded the print room. My research seeks to dispel or decrease fear of the 'invisible matrix' created when computers are used in printmaking. By presenting examples of how the digital can be integrated into a printmaking practice I will show how the handmade and handcraft aspects of print can be supported and broadened.
This research is based on my experience of teaching in the School or Arts and Design at Eastern Institute of Technology in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, where we make a conscious effort to foster cross media possibilities in art and design practice. I am in a fortunate position to encourage this cross-pollination as I teach both in the graphics area and in printmaking. From my strategic perspective it is important that graphic designers continue to work with hand-generated mark-making, such as drawing, painting and print and that printmaking students are encouraged to keep their computer skills active when making work.
Encouraging these media cross-overs is also realistic, given that young people are so embedded in the digital world. We need to show by example how the hand-generated can add material and historical richness to image making, because whatever media young people move into, it will be 'as well as' the digital, not 'instead of'.
My creative practice involves traditional methods, especially silkscreen printing, but all imagery I use passes through the computer to edit in various ways. This research also analyses examples of three students work and will give insight into the possibilities that are opened up by the dialogue between the traditional and the digital in printmaking.


Wednesday 28 September


1:30pm - 3.00pm






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