Bob Sparham

I have began working as a visual artist fairly recently from a background in Art and Design history. I studied them at what is now Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge and as a postgraduate at Middlesex University. After teaching these subjects for some years I formed the ambition ‘to practice what I preached’ and completed a Fine Art course at Castle College Nottingham. On completion of this course I joined the Nottingham Society of Artists in 2007 being promoted to Associate level and winning a Holbrook Trust prize in 2008. I also have had pictures accepted at the Nottingham, Derby and Rutland Open exhibitions, and at the University of Nottingham exhibition at the Djanogly Gallery.

I became a printmaker because of my interest in Japanese Printmaking, particularly the 20th century Shin Hanga (new print) school represented by artists such as Horoshi Yoshida and Kawase Hasui as well as the 19th century floating world prints of artists such as Hokusai. I also have great admiration for the Colour Beginnings sketchbooks of Turner.

My chosen medium is linocut prints. However I try to make these prints in a more Japanese way than the traditional Black or Dark ink style of British linocuts and woodcuts. Therefore I use a technique called Rainbow Rolling, which is where two or more water based colours are blended together on the inking roller. I also use several blocks to make the image, which are registered and printed on a small printing press.

The subjects of my prints are landscapes I am trying to represent light with colour and am interested in how gradiated tones can give the impression of both reflections and atmospheric effects. I concentrate on places I have visited and like to make serial images of the same location.

In addition I have another painting style which is based upon the representation of shadows of a strong light illuminating the figure. This project is based upon my regard for the art historical theories of E H Gombrich particularly his views of the importance of the philosophical model of Plato upon the visual arts. All of the paintings in this style are made with aerosol paints on black or grey canvases and they are loosely based upon, The Simile of the Cave in The Republic

Together with two friends we are mounting a three person exhibition at the Nottingham Society of Artists gallery in June in which we are calling Three Visions I will be exhibiting both linocuts and paintings and I hope that the former also will be suitable for exhibition at the View From The Top Gallery Open Exhibition.