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Elinor Hunter from iceandsea: Artist of the Week

This week we will be talking to artist and print maker Elinor Hunter who runs her business iceandsea where she creates hand made lino prints which explore themes of nature and spirituality.

Image description: a landscape poster depicting a group of printed blue tarrot cards faded in the background. In the foreground on the left is an image of a print being held up showing a blue bag with the text No Thanks Say No to Plastic. On the right in blue text reads ice and sea @iceandsea_.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and the artwork you make?

I’m Ellie and I’ve almost finished my BA in fine art at the Birmingham School of Art. I mainly create block prints and work primarily with lino to create my prints. I use printmaking to explore themes of spirituality, nature and also political issues.

What drew you to making lino prints?

I wanted to explore block printing as it was something I had only done for my GCSE. In summer 2019 I bought a lino printing kit and never looked back. I love the idea of print because it makes art more consumable and accessible. I wanted to create art that I could sell for an affordable price and lino printing seemed the best way to do this because it allows for creating an edition unlike painting which only produces one original at a time.

How do you go about creating a new print?

I have a sketchbook where I draw out loads of ideas. I normally draw out a final idea onto tracing paper so I can easily transfer it onto lino or just draw onto the lino itself. I don’t think too much about an idea or do much planning I like to just get an idea onto lino as quickly as possible. I also like to change the design as I'm carving and I generally just go with what I feel works best.

iceandsea, Moon Worship, lino print, 2021.

Image description: two black and white portrait prints of a nude woman standing in a field of growing plants with an arm outstretched towards the moon and stars.

You have described your work as exploring spirituality. How do you achieve this in your printmaking?

I explore spirituality through the imagery in my prints. I take inspiration from tarot cards and the moon and I represent these ideas visually often printing large versions of tarot cards using my own design, or incorporating spiritual ideas and references within the prints such as the moon.

Can you give us an insight into the experiences you've had during the pandemic and how you've adapted to still create art?

During the pandemic I have had more time to work on my prints because I haven’t been able to go into university or work. I have had to adapt some of my printing techniques to work in a small space and different environment, I don’t have very much space to dry my prints at the moment having to dry them on my clothes airer. This means its difficult to create a large run of prints.

What inspired you to create iceandsea?

I created Iceandsea as a way of documenting my printing journey I wanted to create something to keep track of my progress. I also wanted to create a creative outlet that was different from my university work, and it slowly turned into a small business, which I'm so grateful for.

iceandsea, Mother Earth, lino print, 2021.

Image description: an inked lino block on a bright blue backdrop. The block depicts a female figure with long trailing hair, long plants stem from the ground and stars are at the top of the block next to the text mother earth.

Many of your prints include natural imagery and motifs. Is this an important aspect to include in your work?

Nature is really important within my work. I find nature very healing and it is an important part of my spiritual journey. I also find inspiration for my designs from spending time in nature. I love taking photos of leaves and flowers to use as inspiration. I also wanted to explore protecting nature and the planet in my most recent print which focuses on protecting the planet from climate change. This is something that I want to feature more heavily within my work going forward.

iceandsea, The Moon, lino print, 2021.

Image description: a group of blue and black prints on portrait paper laid about on a white table. The print depicts a border titled The Moon with a crescent moon, stars and wisps of clouds in the centre.

What is next for Ice and Sea?

I would love to create some more political prints about climate change and the importance of preventing it, and other political issues. I would also love to do some virtual workshops about block printing as a way of learning from others and also passing on things I have learnt. I would also love to create more prints that raise money for charity and take part in charity events.

If you would like to see more from IceandSea you can find a full range of Elinor's prints on her Etsy store here.

If you are interested in being featured as an Artist of the Week you can fill out a short application form here.

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