If you don’t know the work of writer and artist Sheree Mack, then you should. She is prolific. Producing, responding, directing, creating, nurturing, and inspiring. You can hear exactly what I mean by listening to her Earth Sea Love podcasts delving into women of colour relationship with nature. Currently 38 episodes to catch up on.
It was Sheree’s powerful commentary on social media during the 2020 Black Lives Matter uprising that prompted me to ask her to collaborate on a series of letterpress broadsides. The aim was to capture her words and provocations on paper and distribute them widely. We started in the summer of 2020 exchanging emails, post and met online to direct and inform the collaboration.
Sheree presented short, written statements for me to set using wooden type. Feeling still new to using letterpress I wanted to push the boundaries of the printing process and incorporate other printing techniques. Initially I had restricted materials due to lockdown and printed recycled photo-litho plates to create rich, colourful backgrounds. The nature of screen-printing and photo-lithography however lend themselves well to the autographic mark. Using short films and written instructions I was able to guide Sheree into making techniques which were incorporated into some of the latter prints.
Collaborating without the artist in the studio was a completely new and exciting experience. It felt as if we could/should do/try anything.
The collaboration so far has culminated in a series of 7 broadsides using letterpress, photo-lithography and letterpress.