Print for Scarlet's Fund

Linocut print {from a suite of 20}

It was with much joy and trepidation that I embarked on this project for Scarlet’s fund last year.

Scarlet was a musician, singer, writer and traveller and was a passionate believer in social justice – and a student at The University of Melbourne studying Arts. On March 31st, 2012, Scarlet fell through a roof at a party in Melbourne. She died of her injuries five days later on April 5th, just before her 21st birthday. Scarlet is the daughter of Simon Spain and Victoria Ryle and sister of Georgia. This fund has been established by them in her name to support some initiatives that she would be proud of and to continue the tradition of bringing beauty through the arts to people, particularly in developing communities. (text with thanks from here)

This year Simon and Victoria chose one of Scarlet’s favourite poems—Musee des Beaux Arts to be the theme for a suite of prints by 20 artists from across Australia. W.H.Auden wrote this poem in response to Pieter Brueghel’s, painting The Fall of Icarus. (featured).

The first edition of prints are now printed, signed and will soon be ready to be sold. (details of online sales off the Fund’s Website forthcoming)

If you would like to know more about Scarlet, her extraordinary life and the fund established in her memory, please visit the website.

This was my first proper attempt at Lino cutting, and I daresay the printmakers struggled with my less than perfect rendering. The image celebrates the idea of all life, always enduring, in a constant state of vibrant energy around us.

Pieter Brueghel, The Fall of Icarus : Oil-tempera, 29 inches x 44 inches, Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels.

Musee des Beaux Arts

–W. H. Auden

About suffering they were never wrong,

The old Masters: how well they understood

Its human position: how it takes place

While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;

How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting

For the miraculous birth, there always must be

Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating

On a pond at the edge of the wood:

They never forgot

That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course

Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot

Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse

Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away

Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may

Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,

But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone

As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green

Water, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen

Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,

Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

I had to create many versions, prints and trials before I had the courage to cut the final board!

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