Northern Beaches Secondary College, Cromer Campus
My recent visit to Italy led me to investigate the practice of French impressionist painters Monet and Pissarro, specifically their urban street scenes revealing the pulsating energy and hustle of modern city life. The relief printing medium proved essential in its ability for the various marks and cuts to communicate this sense of frenzied excitement that I too felt as a traveler in this place. Whilst the central panel epitomises modernity and takes in a view from the Spanish steps, the outer panels reveal the ruins and tradition of ancient Italy. The inclusion of the postcards represent my own experiences as a tourist, but also allude to the more universal allure of these renowned sites.
Examine how Aleksandra Rakic has manipulated perspective to convey a sense of the grandeur, permanence and dominance of her subject. Describe the printmaking technique used to create these images and the marks it produces. Do they reinforce or contradict the presence of this type of architecture?
David Stephenson offers a unique visual perspective on his subject, suggesting the interior ceiling of the cathedral could be a portal to another time. Does Rakic’s work make a similar suggestion? If so, how?
Compare the qualities and techniques of the mediums used by Rakic and Stephenson. Discuss how the process by which each image is rendered affects the viewer’s perception of the subject. Compare the timeframes required to produce photographs and prints. What advantages and challenges would each medium have posed to the artists? Propose why Rakic and Stephenson may have chosen printmaking and photography – mediums that rely on mechanical reproductive processes to investigate historical subjects. Debate whether this is coincidence or a deliberate decision.