Tracey has always found a meditative space in the natural environment. I find value in the detail; there’s a wealth of repetitive pattern, geometric shape and unexpected colour-ways to be discovered.
It is always informative and often surprising. I grew up in wild-flower country and have early memories of being astounded at the volume and intricacies of nature’s design, that awe continues within me. My work explores these forms and tones. I hope to encourage the viewer to look closely at their surroundings, to appreciate the detail and the minutiae of life. For myself, I am conscious to choose joy; of pattern, of colour, of form. These are the motivations that fuel my practice; a deliberate optimism for work that feels fulfilling and life affirming.
My work begins in the field; in order to understand the composition of flowers I prefer to study them in person. With the help of a macro photographic lens and enough time sketching, I explore the detail of the plants; star-shaped stamens, sweeping forms, geometric repetitions. It is at this stage that my background in graphic design starts to influence my work.
Armed with sketches and photographs I then spend time in my studio honing form. My time as a graphic designer and a decades-long admiration for Pop Art come into play as I reduce and refine the shapes of the subject. When the balance between complexity and simplicity is right, I begin mixing inks. I spend time combining pigments, acrylics and mediums to get the hues exactly right. My work is primarily tone and form so this step cannot be rushed.
I cut paper stencils and screen print them by hand. Typically, screen printing is done mechanically to deliver consistency and repetition but I find value in work that is obviously made by hand. I use the same graphic detailing in each piece; various stripes, fading dots and polka dots to create shade and dimension. The repeated use of graphic elements across my range weld each work together, helping to create a series and a visual language. The paper stencils begin to buckle and dissolve over the course of an edition which means that these prints are truely limited to smaller runs. What I appeciate most about the resulting artwork is that from afar, lines are crisp and bold and on closer inspection it has the warmth and charm of artwork crafted by hand.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Tracey Gibbs is a contemporary printmaker from Perth,
Western Australia. With roots in wild-flower country in the south west of Western Australia her fascination with botanicals is long-standing. Raised in a resourceful and creative family, her interest in art took hold in high school when she was first exposed to both Fauvism and especially Pop Art. Lurid, almost unnatural colour remains an obsession and features prominently in her work. She went on to study art at TAFE and then continued within the creative field attaining a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design at Curtin University.
Tracey’s design career saw her working as a publishing designer and she excelled in the field for over a decade. In 2018 Tracey took the leap into a long-held dream of hers; producing self-driven art. Printmaking, specifically screen printing has been a love of Tracey’s from the first time she was exposed to it as a teenager. Tracey’s experience in design and love of nature continues to influence her creative direction and she is excited to explore the detail of nature in all its forms.