Tamarind Institute, New Mexico

May 11, 2020

Alburquerque Adventure

 

In 2018 I had a dream come true of studying on the Summer School at the Tamarind Institute for lithography in Albuquerque, New Mexico USA

~ Go along Lead for a couple of miles

~ Turn right into Titanium

~ Left onto Silver

~ Left onto Raynolds

~ Right onto Kit Carson

~ Left at Laguna

~ Right onto Tingley

The road signs in Albuquerque are testament to its mining history. This was my cycle route from home to the Rio Grande. The massive river, Rio Grande runs through the middle of town but was really hard to find.

Happily, I found the river – eventually – but like the route to many good things, the journey wasn’t easy.

Another Albuquerque initiaition was taking daily bus rides on the Route No 7 . . . a journey that bought into focus the experience of the overwhelming homeless population and alternative community that ride the buses all day long. So many people are in a state of mental suffering and so many medicated on either legal or illegal drugs. I felt deeply shocked when I first arrived and then it became part of my everyday eperience of life in Albuquerque, always there. An alternative reality.

The closeness of the Rio Grande was exciting for me. I had heard of this amazing river for years and how romantic it sounded! I thought about the geographical proximity of Mexico to Albuquerque and the difficult situation that the river witnesses there, as it becomes the border line. This harsh reality was bought home as I read, “The River Becomes a Line” by Fancisco Cantu and “The Devils Highway” by Alberto Urrea.

The Tamarind experience was everything I hoped for and some! One month immersed in the study and practice of lithography, a type of printmaking that I have become fascinated by in the last few years, since joining the Gloucestershire Print Coop. Our amazing tutor, Brandon Gunn was assisted by several enthusiastic, supportive, Tamarind trained printmakers to make a great team. Not to mention my fellow student artists from around the globe with whom strong friendships built up over time –  it was a special time, never to be forgotten although incredibly hard work! One month wasnt enough.

Whilst we were there, the professional print shop was in operation, working alongside visiting artists, some, very well known, to create editions of their work. The level of skill and dedication was impressive and the printers running the professional shop were Valpuri Remling, Christine Adams and Jake Ingram.

Also a big thanks to all those who taught me, Brandon Gunn, Ben Schoenberg and Mark Wallace.

Our Summer School Group

With,Tutor, Brandon Gunn, second from left, and assistant tutor, Mark Wallis, last on the right

Tamarind Institute

Central Avenue, Albuquerque

Litho Press in Tamarind Studio

One of the Takach built electric litho presses. Note, effective extraction pipe above, for removing toxic fumes of solvents. Takach presses are based in Albuquerque and are a family run business building all things printmaking. www.takachpress.com

studio

Group shot

From left to right: Slododan, Loli, Ben, Helena, Gaga, Me and Mark.

Studio

Me mixing colour

Rio grande

A river that carries stories

rio grande

Wetland area, Nature reserve running alongside the Rio Grande

rio grande

Dusk at the edge of the Rio Grande

rio grande

At the edge of the Rio Grande are these riverside forests, known as ‘Bosques’

rio grande

The edge of the river was dry with cracked mud and a few bright flourishing plants pushing up out of the mud

Street, pavement scene

The street where I lived for 5 weeks

cheesecloth rack

In a beautiful Tamarind order style. Cheesecloths are used in lithography to polish the stone or plate after applying gum arabic

Studio

Working in the studio

From left to right: Loli, Abe, Slobodan, Anna and Ben.

Studio

My first blend roll, helped by Mark Wallis

Studio

Me, Loli, Helena and Slobodan.

Growers market

The Saturday Growers market in Downtown Albuquerque

List of participants

Tamarind Summer School students for 2018