Cleo Wilkinson (AU)
In Wilkinson’s mezzotints, outlines are defined by shadows and light, giving the images a three-dimensional outlook. The faces portrayed seem real and mysterious to the viewer.
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Cleo Wilkinson is an Australian printmaker. Her works have been exhibited in over 300 international juried group and solo exhibitions. Her main works are realised using the Mezzotint printmaking technique. This is a very physically demanding technique where a metal plate is carved using a blade, which is rocked on the plate. After this process, the plate is burnished before being inked. The carving process is extremely long, it can take a couple of weeks of work before the plate is even inked. Tonality is achieved by roughening the metal plate with a rocker to produce a rich black, creating a high level of tonal richness. Cleo’s familiarity with the technique is seen through the realistic impression that her work gives. Her expertise is also shown by how she even designed her own tool in order to grind the plate. The result of her laborious work are black and white images which seem to come to life. There are no lines, only patterns of light. Outlines are defined by shadows and light, making the images very realistic. The works exhibited show close up of faces. These seem to be coming out of the darkness, stirring up feelings of hope. The closeness of the faces to the viewer builds a very intimate relationship with him. This personal bond between the subject and the observer is further amplified by the three dimensional effect resulting from the use of light.