This print depicts an old map of the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh, which can be seen at the top of the lithograph. What makes this piece intriguing, however, is the hot lava and rock beneath which create the illusion of staring into the depths of the Earth. The lava is in the form of fire rivers running down the painting, combining and flowing into a big ocean of lava. As an addition, there is a small window with geological data including a map and this contributes to the unique nature of the piece.
Alastair Clark finds inspiration in nature, colour and creation of something new. His artworks are often a combination of painting and digital imaging, features of truly unique works.
Alastair's practice is about the transformative process of printmaking that gives him the freedom to edit images and experiment with tones and that, unlike painting where every brush stroke is locked into an unbreakable sequence, printmaking allows him to go back a step or two or more to introduce a different hue or a different perspective.
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 he regularly uses transfers from digitally manipulated photographs as the starting point for his prints.
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, of course, 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