Diary of a printmaker - Daniel Bugg
During the making of the Green Knight screen prints, Clive and I fell into a routine that served us well throughout the project. Working from my studio in Yorkshire, I would begin by proofing the image while Clive continued to develop the next print in the series back in his studio in Wales. Due to the distance between our two studios, the majority of the prints were made in this way. The two of us working in geographical isolation but nevertheless always in contact through phone, email, and text.
After a few days in the studio, I would send multiple proofs through the post for Clive to study, along with suggestions and ideas. A few days later, these proofs would be returned, this time annotated with Clive thoughts. In this way, we'd shape the print until we were both happy. Once the image was finalised, I would then proceed to print the edition and, once completed, take a trip to Wales where Clive would sign the prints in his studio.
Here's a diary entry from 2016, after one of those journeys.
Having completed the second in the series of fourteen prints, I travelled to Wales to meet with Clive in order for him to sign the finished prints. I particularly enjoy these journeys across the country as it gives Clive and me the chance to catch up and discuss the project face to face. Things are moving at quite a pace, and I feel that the drive offers the opportunity to clear my head after long hours in the studio. Having worked on the finished print for just short of two months the meeting, should take a leisurely couple of days and will no doubt energise us for the next edition.
The trip also marks a year since I was first introduced to Clive. It's testimony to his good nature and spirit of adventure that we have managed to achieve so much in such a short space of time. Having undertaken this journey on more than one occasion since we first met, I feel that I could complete the four hour trip with my eyes closed. However, this would leave me oblivious to the beautiful landscape that my journey cuts through. After the enclosed intensity of the studio, I look forward to this drive. As the road meanders its way through the glorious hills and valleys, the landscape does wonders for the spirit.
The second print, the newly titled The Green Knight Arrives, marks the Knight's arrival into the halls of Camelot. James Russell, who has written a specially commissioned piece to accompany the release, describes Clive's depiction of the Green Knight as
"a modern primitive, whose identity is etched into his skin. Clive looks beyond the poetry to explore the character and cultural implications of Gawain's nemesis, in an intense portrait of mingled power and vulnerability".
I think it's a perfect description of what I'm sure will be one of the more striking images in the series.
Clive completed the signing of The Green Knight Arrives in just over an hour, which gave us plenty of time to catch up and discuss the next print in the series. The third print will explore one of the more gruesome sections of the text, the beheading of the Green Knight by Gawain. It will be intriguing to see how Clive handles this, I know he's a fan of the Folk Horror revival, so maybe this might give an indication of the mood of the piece.