ARTIST:: HÉLÈNE BAUTISTA
Introduce yourself and your art.
I’m an illustrator, specialised in engraving and I my predilection is for lino-cutting when I have to create illustrations for books or posters.
Where/How did you develop the idea for your postcard? What was your intention for your postcard?
This idea of a an hot-air balloon flying in the sky came first for a book cover for « Cinq semaines en ballon’, the Jules Verne’s novel, and I made a large linocut print for it. When I saw the poster of the Surface Gallery calling for artists, I thought immediately of travels all around the world, and I wanted, by creating a postcard for it, to invite people to a « rêverie » . That’s why I choosed the hot-air balloon, as an unusual way for travelling, and a poetic one. I made a very small lino plate then to create this postcard, which I printed in traditional ways.
Is this your first exhibition and if yes, how do you feel about it?
It isn’t my first exhibition, but I feel very happy about it! I usually work in larger format than postcard, but this experience for Surface Gallery introduced me to it and I like it very much. The ones I created since are not really in connection to today’s world. I prefer the relation with books traditions, as Ex Libris for instance.
What artists inspire you?
Félix Vallotton, Daumier, Grandville, Doré as engravers, but I’m very much inspired by old movies for composition and contrasts between black and white, and my ideas often come from literature more than other painters or engravers.
What research do you do for your art works?
I sketch a lot, and read, read, read.
Do you have a creative routine/pattern?
I often sketch and draw when I’m in common transports, but without searching for anything in particular. Then, I feel I’ve got an image in my mind but I know I have to wait till it comes from itself. Music often helps it to do so, and then I make the drawing I’ll use to create the plate. This part takes hours, listening to music or enjoying silence. When the plate is ready, I prepare the studio for printing, which is a part I love too, especially when the first print reveal if the plate is good.
What are you trying to communicate with your postcard?
In my postcards, as in larger formats, I try to open the spectator to his own imagination by sharing mine, and to let him/her free to imagine a story or to be contemplative.
Interview by Dominique Mitchell (Writer in Residence)