Artist collective Ink Inc – established in 2014 by Beck White, MB Stoneman and Rachael Brown – is exhibiting at Space Studio and Gallery from Saturday, November 19. It is the collective’s first gallery exhibition.

MB Stoneman writes about the collective, its work and living in Patea.

We started the collective to support each other and exhibit together.

Our first gig was as a pop-up in a small shop space in Waverley as part of the Whanganui Artists Open Studios event and we moved to a large historic church hall the following year.

Sharing costs and jobs for these annual exhibitions makes sense and it lightens the load and we motivate and mentor each other, share equipment and resources and inspire each other to make good work within our individual practice.

The exhibition at Space will show new work created this year. We’ve not worked within a common theme or style but we all share a similar aesthetic so our work compliments each other while showing our individual tangents.

I’m interested in how much the human condition is influenced by nature. Examples of this – our emotional responses to landscape and place based on memory, physicality and past experience – influence my work.

But I’m also interested in intuitive relationships with plants, energy in inanimate objects, the power of oceans and moons, other dimensions, parallel universes, the possible scope of science.

I start with an idea or feeling and build visual metaphors through the process of print. Techniques such as woodcut and intaglio create varied moods and portray concepts differently.

Printmaking is a constant challenge. I like to push my work forward and test different things. From November to March I completed a 100-day project where I was etching every day. By the end I’d created a 26-page hand printed alphabet book based on creatures drawn in the style of 17th century engravings.

I scribed plates using a mechanical tool for the first time and other prints in the show came from this project; one influenced by shadow puppets and another a tribute to my grandmother and the ritual of tea drinking dramas.

I’ve also just finished my first 3D prints, using both etching and lino-cuts and viewed with old school red/cyan glasses.

Ink Inc.

Ink Inc.

Rachael is an experienced screen printer too and has worked as a print technician for many movies.

She has moved from fabric patterns and printed her screen prints on paper this year for the first time.

Her large scale works for this show are made up of 32 prints that show her prowess for registration.

Beck’s new works are influenced by a trip to Australia earlier this year and include snakes and cockatoos in multi-layered relief prints. Her clean-cut style is distinctive, bold and graphic.

We all have connections to Patea.

Beck and myself live here and share a print studio and Rachael is up the road in New Plymouth where she does screen printing from her barn.

My partner and I bought the run-down 1873 BNZ bank building on a quarter acre for $13,000 in 2004.

When we got married in 2007, Beck was at the wedding and loved Patea.

She and her partner moved down from Waiheke Island and bought a cheap place within a year and Rachael and her partner own a section in Patea too.

Living here gives us freedom. We are not dictated by mortgages or high living costs. The coastline is beautiful, the area is rich in history and culture and the volcanic soil grows great gardens.

Creative people are slowly catching on and moving in and a new community gallery is opening very soon. It’s about balance; work, creativity, nature and travel. We love it here.

*Ink Inc’s has a public opening at 5.30pm on Saturday November 19.
It will be in gallery until December 2 and online from November 22; spacestudiogallery.co.nz / www.inkinc.org / www.mbstoneman.com
*Main photo by Vanessa Patea