Double Elephant Print Workshop
Exeter Phoenix, Bradninch Place,
Gandy Street, Exeter, EX4 3LS
Artist in Residence - Steven Paige
Steven’s workshop was rich due to his enthusiasm to choose a topic, to indulge in research & to think “outside the box”, as fuel for creativity…
Artist Steven Paige is a currently resident artist at Double Elephant Print, tasked with responding to the Leonard Baskin & Ted Hughes archive based at University of Exeter. Not a regularly practising printmaker, his approach to the residency is as much conceptual as materials based.
For the workshop on 31 October, Steven presented aspects of the archive that he has found intriguing – namely how Baskin worked and corresponded with Hughes, how text/writing works with the image including the notion of the press or publishing of works and, as it was auspiciously Halloween, how a healthy approach to mortality gave rise to a rich field to explore. For the workshop these ideas were explored further to encourage fresh approaches to making work.
A taster of the poems that the group responded to:
“O shining Odysseus, never try to console me for dying. I would rather follow
the plow as thrall to another man, one with no land allotted to him and
much to live on, than be a king over all the perished dead.”
— Achilles’ soul to Odysseus. Homer, Odyssey’ 11.488-491
“To Thanatos, Fumigation from Manna.
Hear me, O Death, whose empire unconfin’d
extends to mortal tribes of ev’ry kind.
On thee, the portion of our time depends,
whose absence lengthens life, whose presence ends.
Thy sleep perpetual bursts the vivid folds
by which the soul, attracting body holds :
common to all, of ev’ry sex and age,
for nought escapes thy all-destructive rage.
Not youth itself thy clemency can gain,
vigorous and strong, by thee untimely slain.
In thee the end of nature’s works is known,
in thee all judgment is absolved alone.
No suppliant arts thy dreadful rage control,
no vows revoke the purpose of thy soul.
O blessed power, regard my ardent prayer,
and human life to age abundant spare.
—- Orphic Hymn 86 trans. Thomas Taylor, trans. The Hymns of Orpheus, 1792.