Carol Wilhide Justin
‘Gray’ is based on drawings made at the chalk cliffs at Botany Bay in Broadstairs, Kent. The name comes from the fate of those caught smuggling, deportation to the far side of the world, Botany Bay, Australia. Cliffs particularly in Kent are synonymous with the physical and mental border that bounds the British Isles.
The print is called ‘Gray’, gray for the name carved in the cliff and the tonal colours used to print it but also for the grey area surrounding Brexit. Names from all over the world have been incised in the chalk by visitors to this area of coastline. Down the beach was a temporary encampment of Syrian refugees grouped around a bonfire. And yet this is Thanet, deep in Brexit country.
Carol’s prints are Japanese woodcuts made using watercolour pigments instead of oil based inks and hand-printed using a baren. The watercolour gives a more nuanced effect in contrast with the certainties of the woodcut cut line.
In a world increasingly driven by the digital, her work celebrates a belief in the haptic and analogue. Woodcuts are time consuming to produce, slow and exacting, built one layer at a time, the result of decision and deliberation.