If you haven’t had a chance to check out printmaking artist Lisa Co’s show Ghost at Fresh Exhibitions, the good news is that you still have a few days left. The even better news is that Co will be offering a workshop at the gallery on Saturday, November 15 from 2-4pm where you can not only meet her – you can make art with her. Co will be sharing her woodcut printmaking process and providing the materials for anyone who would like to try their hand at it too.
Before you visit the gallery, check out our Q&A with the artist below and get a look into what inspires her fresh, unique style.
SAI: Can you tell us a bit about your background? Where are you from? When/where/why did you start making artwork?
Lisa Co: I am first generation Asian-American, born in Kentucky, but raised for most of life in GA. I’ve just always liked art and making things.
SAI: What is your process for creating work like?
Lisa Co: I really don’t know what my creative process is or how I would describe it. In contrast to the vagueness of my creative process though, printmaking is an extremely process-driven art form. It’s usually a step-by-step type of art with set guidelines for how to perform each step in order to replicate the print perfectly each time.
SAI: Where do you find inspiration?
Lisa Co: A lot of places, I guess. I really like Art History and I like to learn about past artistic movements, my favorite being Surrealism and specifically ‘magical realism’ which combines realism and fantasy.
SAI: Why have you gravitated towards printmaking as your medium?
Lisa Co: I like the physical work that goes into printmaking; I think it’s really calming and nice to just sit down and carve a piece of wood for like 6 hours.
SAI: In your artist statement you’ve said that the conceptual focus of this body of work is to explore the “darker aspects in people and nature through their connection with magical stories and beliefs.” Can you elaborate on that?
Lisa Co: My work isn’t really directly influenced by any specific mythological stories. I’m really more interested in the way people romanticize nature and animals. I think the relationship between people and nature is kind of mysterious and as a result of that individuals as well as whole cultures tend to aggrandize it and you end up with a lot of interesting beliefs and rituals that have to do with a mystified perception of nature.
SAI: Most of the figures featured in this exhibition are female. Can you tell us about this choice?
Lisa Co: I have a couple of male figures in my show, but I do do mostly female figures and I think it’s really just because I am a woman and therefore prefer to draw women because it’s a point of view I relate to.
SAI: What are you planning for your upcoming workshop at Fresh Exhibitions?
Lisa Co: I’m going to have a couple of small woodblocks to have people pull their own prints off of — woodcut printmaking is too long of a process to really sit down and have people watch while I do it and honestly I just think it’ll be more fun for everyone involved if people get to do it themselves and then also get something to take with them when they leave.
SAI: What’s next for you after this show?
Lisa Co: I’m looking to Grad school in the future, so after this show I’ll probably just continue to work on my art while I look into furthering my education.
Ghost will be on view at Fresh Exhibitions until Saturday, November 15.