Sylvia at work in the intaglio workshop at Camberwell College of Arts
Straight from her successful degree show at Camberwell College of Arts, Sylvia Moritz talks rolling up sleeves for the battle with etching and why modern art could do with a little more muscle…
Cities are places of amazing unpredictability, with negatives and positives constantly outweighing one another. So in that respect, I like to think of this series as more of a mode of commentary rather than criticism, documentation rather than dramatisation.
Sylvia Moritz – Dencity (Detail)
40 x 40 cm etching. Limited edition of 10 – all sold out.
Quite simply it’s an appreciation of craft and labor intensive work. Detail equals involvement. It acts as a gateway that allows onlookers to get totally lost within images. Patience is a lost trait, and it’s visible in the amount of simplicity in today’s creativity. While this can be very beautiful, I believe there needs to be more muscle in modern art.
Georg Bohle – City 19
2014, 192 x 98 cm, Black fineliner on paper. Zoom in for some incredible detail on his website.
Matthew Borrett – Sleeping With the Window Open
Pencil drawing from Room Series see the complete series of drawings on the artist’s website.
While I’d love to make even larger etchings, ‘Capacity’ is a half meter square, so that’s a lot of metal to be inking up and winding through the press all day.
That said, I always end up drawing beyond the sketchbook. I once wallpapered an entire room with a friend, and together we drew every wall, floor and ceiling with marker pens. The project was called Disappear. (video below)
Unlike my drawings, I grew up in very rural surroundings in eastern Austria. It’s one of those towns where everyone knows everyone, with quite conservative viewpoints. So it definitely acted as a trigger for me to leave and visit big cities.
I’ve definitely inherited an appreciation of hard physical labour from my father, who is a mechanic. We’re never shy to roll up our sleeves when needs be.
In most art forms, whether painting onto a blank canvas or digitally printing onto inkjet paper, the gift of having white space is something that’s taken for granted. Commonly, etching plates get dirty and leave a muddy tone in the artwork, removing this takes a lot of cleaning, so when I run the plate through a press and unveil my print, I’ve really come to appreciate just having spotless clean white paper!
Sylvia Moritz – Capacity
Framed etching in limited edition of 10. (50 x 50cm).
It is definitely a battle, a war zone at times. These unpredictable factors can really add character to a print, but when you’re producing a numbered series, and every print has to be identical, you work more like a machine than an artist
In mid-battle at the intaglio workshop at Camberwell College of Arts
A lot of design projects have shaped my illustrative style and a lot of aspects of fine art prints now inspire my design work. I aim for a colourful future with multidisciplinary design and art related projects.
Yep, it’s not all black and white, there’s some brilliant color designs over on Sylvia’s Tumblr site
Austria has an incredibly vibrant art scene, but I haven’t visited for so long. However, I have to pay great respect to my tutor Brian Hodgson, who taught me so much about intaglio printing. His beautiful, delicate drawings can be seen here.
Brian Hodgson – Orientation
© Brian D Hodgson – see the complete series of drawings on the artist’s website.
Thank you. CitySphere has recently been exhibited at the Affordable Art Fair in Hampstead, and of course the Camberwell degree show. Right now the dust is still settling on what has an overwhelming response to my work. I featured in Creative Review and have received very kind messages from a few art exhibitors.
Meticulously working on an etching plate for the Citysphere series.
All of this momentum will hopefully lead to new artworks in the coming months. I’m currently finding a new intaglio workshop to print, now that I’ve graduated. Alongside this, I often daydream about the next part of the world I will visit and study.
So concludes our Sylvia Moritz interview. Thanks Sylvia for taking the time out from the post degree show flurry to to share your inspirations and working practices. Enjoyed looking into your work and all the best for the next chapter in your creative journey around the globe!
For more links and info check out our Sylvia Moritz page.