- Catalogue Number
- Title and Date
- Pre-history 1991
- Description of Featured Image
- A landscape of bare hills, dominated in the left foreground by two strangely shaped plants, while an imagined prehistoric creature lumbers in from the right.
- Where Made
- Dunmoochin, Cottles Bridge
- Medium Category and Technique
- Intaglio Print: Etching over sandpaper ground, scraper, burnishing and line etching on copper
- Wove paper. Identified papers: White BFK Rives paper with watermark: ‘BFK RIVES / FRANCE’ with infinity symbol. Other papers mentioned in notes on this work in Amor’s intaglio record books: cream BFK Rives paper.
Image size: 70 x 107 mm
Matrix size: 70 x 109 mm
- Artist’s Record Number
- Printer(s) and Workshop(s)
- All impressions printed by Rick Amor in his Dunmoochin studio, Cottles Bridge.
- Summary Edition Information
- Four states. No edition.
- Niagara Galleries & NETS Victoria 1993–94: Niagara Galleries & NETS Victoria, Melbourne, Rick Amor & the Graphic Arts, Victorian and Tasmanian tour, 1993–94, no. 45.
- State Library of Victoria, Melbourne: four state impressions, numbered 1 through 4.
The subject of this print is not a consciously created image, as its origins lie with an experiment in randomness. Here Amor was inspired by the Surrealist practice of dropping a piece of string loaded with paint onto a surface, and then giving the resulting haphazard marks a recognizable form – a process somewhat like that associated with the Rorschach inkblot test.
Amor’s experimentation saw the emergence in E.038 of a strange, unsettling image: a prehistoric scene populated with imagined plants and animals, summoned up from the artist’s personal ‘deep time’.
The etching combines two of the overarching themes in Amor’s art: the passing of time, and time’s corollary, history. The title of this print is one that Amor gave to at least four other works, the earliest being the painting Pre-history, 1987 (Heide Museum of Modern Art), which served as a model for a woodcut of 1990. In 1988 the artist made a woodcut titled Pre-history, using the same random method as he would subsequently employ in creating the present etching, and in 1989 he made a small bronze sculpture.
Amor used a sandpaper etching ground for the first time in this work. Sandpaper etching involves putting a sheet of sandpaper over a hard ground, running it through the press and allowing the sand particles to pierce the ground, thereby creating tone, somewhat like that in an aquatint. The subject of E.038 was initially etched over the finely pitted sandpaper ground; the image was then burnished into light, and clarified through the addition of line etching and more selective burnishing.
- History, Landscape, Surrealism
Record last updated 10/07/2017