The deep red colour of the magnet acts as the focal point of this lithograph; the effect is further accentuated by the greyscale metallic hues of the background. Small, circular shapes, reminiscent of refrigerator magnets, appear to be attracted to the magnet: Alistair illustrates this invisible attraction by using faint waves of gold lines on the top layer, which, like the unseen force of magnetism, are only apparent when closely observed.
Lithography is a two-hundred-year-old type printmaking process: traditionally, images are manually drawn onto the stone to create a lithograph. However, when describing his process, Alistair notes that, 'images can also be transferred from photocopies onto stone and [Clark] regularly uses transfers from digitally manipulated photographs as the starting point for his prints.' Printing different colours onto a lithograph involves a process of layering, in which the lithographer makes editorial decisions about the ordering of layers, colours of ink, and the type of plates and stone used. Alistair also uses hand-made marks on his prints, 'to remind us that the artist retains manual control over the mechanical printing process.' In his artist statement, he describes the 'freedom' that printmaking allows him to continuously edit and transform an image. As each printmaking process is separate, it is possible to create variations of the same images in order to produce a refined outcome. This kind of editorial freedom is not possible in ordinary painting because making a mark directly onto a canvas is irreversible.
Common themes in Alistair's prints include natural phenomena and the powerful forces of the Earth. He is drawn to the elusive, mythical nature of these forces, as well as the fact that many of them permeate our everyday life.
Alastair Clark was born in Glasgow, and studied drawing and painting at Edinburgh College of Art from 1986-1990. He then went on to complete a Postgraduate Degree in drawing, painting and printmaking. After his studies, Clark continued to develop his printmaking skills, working as a lithography technician at Edinburgh Printmakers Workshop - where he is now the Assistant Director. Alistair has won numerous awards and travel scholarships throughout his career, including The Joseph Bonnar award from the Society of Scottish Artists in 1997 and the 2003 Scottish Arts Council Professional Development Award.
Art in Healthcare's blog entry about Alastair Clark