Based in Christchurch, Ben Reid is an emerging artist producing both print and mixed-media works.
In his prints, Reid combines specific references to local environmental histories with a wider appreciation for the conservation movement. Providing gentle reminders of the fragile nature of New Zealand’s environment, Reid’s recent prints focus on vulnerable native plants and animals whose existence has been threatened by disease, loss of habitat and the introduction of exotic predators.
In the drypoint process, Ben transfers the images from a plate onto paper using a manual printing press. The press works in a similar fashion to old washing machine wringers. The plate is usually made from metal like zinc, copper or aluminium, or sometimes perspex. No acid is used to etch a drypoint plate; instead Ben draws directly into the plate using a sharpened metal tool. It is the physical pressure coming directly from his hand that creates the indentation in the plate. Once the plate has been ‘drawn’ it is ‘inked up’ and then wiped back, this process leaves ink sitting in the drawn lines and the undrawn areas free of ink. Printing paper is then placed against the plate and both are passed through the press together. Under pressure the image on the plate transfers to the paper. The process is repeated a specific number of times forming the edition.
Ben’s mixed media works are studies of buildings around New Zealand that hold some interest or appeal to him.
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