David Barker


Limited Edition Portfolios

You could own one of the remaining six portfolios of this series of ten etchings.

There is an historic tradition whereby artists known for their paintings have their work translated into the medium of handmade prints. Such is the complexity of the etching process this was usually enabled by a sympathetic printmaker working with the artist.


click to see the etchings...

In 2011 New Zealand printmaker Merle Bishop suggested my my monochromatic sketches, the starting point for all my studio paintings, could well be transcribed into etched plate images without losing any of their essential spontaneity.

Thus began a collaboration whereby metal plates, exposed to the ultraviolet light of the sun, and etched by warm water were made at her Takapuna studio. Merle Bishop is meticulous in her practice of printmaking. Despite a sense of control the permutations seemed endless.

Merle Bishop

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Each steel plate was hand inked ten times using a blend of two colours, blue and brown that produced rich variations of warm or cool black. Unlike machine-made reproductions this ensured no two impressions could be identical.

Printmaking is an alchemy of precise intention and discovery. Lifting the press blankets off the new printed sheet was often a surprise but with a finality quite unlike that which occurs working in other mediums. Whatever happened the transformation from the original dry graphite sketch to the unique properties of ink pressed into dampened paper was always a revelation. I became enchanted by a medium that, while new to me, is steeped in a long artistic tradition.

The artist at work

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The clam boxes made by Paul Taylor of Spiral Path Book Studio are designed to safely display the ten prints. We discussed the potential for creating a sense of ceremony when entering the portfolio. Materials were chosen that would protect the prints and convey that sense of discovery. The boxes were so fine that l decided to have an outer box enclosing everything.

Clam boxes

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The etchings could be framed in either a traditional or contemporary manner without detracting from the integrity of the portfolio itself, to which they could be returned or exchanged at any time.

Image Plate size: 270 × 340 mm
The portfolio box dimensions are: H 570 × W 410 × D 50 mm
Weight: 5.6kgs

The plates are now rendered useless thus protecting the rarity of the edition.

To acquire one of these unique portfolios directly from my studio, please indicate your interest via . A portfolio will be shipped to you without charges. The edition will be distributed in order of receipt of payment.

The portfolios will be exhibited as part of my May, 2014 SHADOW SERIES Exhibition at:

Depot Artspace 28 Clarence Street, Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand

Opening  Saturday, 10 May, 2.00 p.m.
Closing  Thursday, 22 May

Open daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Enquiries:  (+64) 09 963 2331

the etchings >