This Spring I will spend 5 weeks in Japan learning the traditional art of Japanese Woodblock Printing. Pledge to support my artist residency in Japan, and share this unique experience with me by owning an original piece of art created during the residency, or even learning the technique yourself!
Hello! My name is Kate Desforges. I'm an artist and printmaker based in Leeds, UK. I create handmade, original contemporary prints and artist books. I am the Print Studio Co-ordinator at West Yorkshire Print Workshop, and in addition I am a freelance Art Educator working across the north of England. Find out more about me and my work on my website: www.kathryndesforges.co.uk and keep up-to-date with my project through my blog: https://katedesforges.wordpress.com/
This spring I have been invited to spend a five week residency in Japan learning 'Mokuhanga' - the art of Japanese water-based woodblock Printing - at the Mokuhanga Innovation Laboratory (Mi-LAB), Lake Kawaguchi, Japan. The residency runs from 22nd April - 26th May 2018, and is designed to provide extensive knowledge of Mokuhanga and its techniques to international artists, printmakers and teachers of printmaking, as well as to enable them to make use of traditional tools and materials.
This amazing opportunity will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience to learn this ancient technique from Japanese master printmakers. It will offer me dedicated time and space to create new work, and equip me with the skills to teach others when I return.
During the residency I intend to create work which develops and builds on inherent themes which run through my current art practice - drawing attention to the ordinary, overlooked areas of everyday life. However, I plan to keep an open mind, and let the process guide me, and I am so excited to see what happens!
MI-LAB will showcase the resulting prints after the residency in an exhibition at the CfSHE (Centre for the Science of Human Endeavor) in Tokyo. The work I produce will also be shown in the UK during summer 2018 in exhibitions at West Yorkshire Print Workshop, and at Zillah Bell gallery in Thirsk. I intend to offer workshops, demonstrations, and individual tuition sessions from summer 2018 onwards.
Why I am asking for your money
I estimate that the whole trip will cost me £3500-£4000. Huge thanks to West Yorkshire Print Workshop, who have already kindly offered me a bursary of £500 towards to the project, which will cover a portion of the residency fee. Apart from this, I am self-funding the project, and any money I raise through Crowdfunder will go towards the remainder of the residency fee and associated costs, including travel, accommodation, materials, and general subsistence costs.
The rewards outlined are intended to engage a range people in supporting and sharing this experience with me - artists, schools, print workshops, studio groups, universities, colleges, or anyone with an interest in my work.
If you would like to support my project but want something different to the rewards offered here, you can contact me or visit my Etsy shop.
Greeting cards featuring 'Peak' series of etchings:
Example print from 'Channels' series - woodblock and screen print on Zerkall paper: