Hilary Dalke

16 Mar – 3 Apr 2022

Private View: TBC

Artist’s talk: TBC

GHOST in the INK is the first exhibition of a series of monotypes and artworks in which Hilary Dalke revives and re-works an avant-garde approach to the 19th century scientific mode of nature printing.
These fragile images capture moments in time, revealing a lost presence of leaf forms and more, printed from residues on an inked platen.

The prints from Series 1 & 2, WRAITH and VIVRE – made throughout a year of changes – of leaves from a special Paulownia tree. Hilary Dalke’s work has recorded the life of a tree’s seasons; the periods of growth, from decay to rebirth. Series 3, LEVATE, are art installations of the inked, preserved leaves. The nature monotype prints were made from leaves collected in the previous year.

Why Ghost? The ghost image was made by impressing the leaf into a freshly pristine inked platen; once removed, paper is hand pressed onto the remaining image. The work contains beautiful imperfections due to the nature of the hand-printed process,

The impact of the monotype, and the spectre-like manifestations of the images revealed, worked as powerful, hypnotic passages of activity. The hand printing of over 200 images, rejecting and recognising in that ink the ghosts of time passed, built a unique body of work.

These unique selected 72 artworks explore a response to WRAITH; a Scottish word for a ghostlike image of someone, before or after death; a spirit, spectre, phantom, apparition, manifestation, vision, shadow, presence, poltergeist, supernatural – where death has occurred. Yet a neoteric life-force prevails, as 11 prints from Series 2 VIVRE show us.  Series 3 LEVATE, 2 artworks of the leaf remains – inked, desiccated, dried as silent sentinels of the process.

The work mirrored a powerful link to what occurred, irrevocable yet celebratory, through to an acceptance of life renewing.