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Curlew Cottage Design

Joanna Martin is a designer and printmaker based in County Down Northern Ireland.  Her linocut prints are created by carving a design into linoleum, applying ink and hand printing.  Joanna uses the reduction method, building up a print from the same block - colour by colour - conjuring richness and depth from inks that can take a week to dry.

 

Joanna’s inspiration for her art comes from wild places, sailing trips to remote islands off Scottish and Irish coasts, where threatened birds can still be found, such as the Corncrake and Bittern.  She has enjoyed close encounters with whales, dolphins, seals and puffins on these sailing adventures.  “It makes me stop and look, it slows me down.  I get immersed in nature, and this gives greater depth to my art."

 

Living close to Strangford Lough (the UK and Ireland’s largest sea lough) has given her ample opportunities to observe, study and care about the Curlew.  This beautiful wading bird is on the verge of extinction, and through her website Joanna has been raising awareness of this, by interviewing people who work to protect it and raising money from sales of prints for related charities.

 

"Linocut printing is a labour of love, slow and absorbing, exhausting and exhilarating.  I am driven by the mystery of this ancient craft and what emerges."   

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