The Battle of Medway 350th Anniversary (Medway Council Printmaker Bursaries 2017)

by adamnewtonart

Adam Newton, Medway Council, Battles of Medway, Printmaking, Fine Art

From the Dutch Prints Collection at the Guildhall Museum, Rochester, UK

As part of the 350th commemoration of the Battle of Medway, Medway Council has awarded 4 printmaking bursaries for an exhibition at Rochester Art Gallery in June 2017, and I am excited to be one of the recipients.

My idea is to use the image of the defensive chain that was raised across the river during the Battle of Medway as a point of departure to investigate the wider theme of chains. The deteriorated chain of command that paralysed the English defence. The unfortunate scapegoat Peter Pett, clapped in irons in the Tower barely before the action was over.  Two former imperial powers in conflict, whose histories rattle with the chains of slavery.  The inefficacy of the defensive chain as a form of defence, broken as it was by the ingenuity of the Dutch. Now, at a time when once again nations seem keen to throw up defensive chains of their own, politically and economically, this theme seems particularly rich and relevant.

Given my choice of theme, I would like to explore a printmaking process that focuses on iron as a material. Drawing inspiration from the maps and prints of the Guildhall Collection, I would explore laser-engraved imagery and text on iron objects, and the use of iron oxide powder to create an edition of screen-prints on paper. At the Bursary Open Evening I was particularly struck by the Dutch engravings depicting the signing of the peace, and these could act as a strong counterpoint to the brutality of the iron. #Bom350 #OfFireshipsAndIron