PAST EVENT: “CUT ” – an exhibition of Stencils and Cut-outs by Artist in Residence, Christian Hardman

Christian was born and raised on the island, studying at the Isle of Man College before moving to Newcastle-upon-Tyne to study BA (Hons.) Fine Art at Northumbria University, specialising in Printmaking. Following his graduation, he was appointed as one of two Graduate Fellows in Fine Art Printmaking at the University, where he assisted in the delivery of technical inductions to undergraduates, specialising in both Screen and Relief printing methods. This additional time spent at the university allowed him the freedom and facilities to further develop his practice before coming back to the island. On his return to the island, Christian took up the position of Artist in Residence at the Sayle Gallery, where he has been based since August of last year.

In his work Christian tries to play with the idea of physicality through the manipulation of positive and negative space, and draws connections between classic and modern art forms. The work is technically driven, with great consideration given to detail and precision, executed through hand-cut paper, meticulously cut stencils with spray paint and relief printmaking. The work starts with a single or multiple images, which are then digitally manipulated to highlight features of the form. From this they can then be broken down into tonal layers, which can be achieved both digitally and by eye, each making for different aesthetic effect. By balancing light and dark tones it is possible to create depth and volume within the two dimensions, with some features appearing to project or regress.

The work is all cut by hand, meaning precision is key, any slip of the scalpel has the potential to greatly alter the piece, although by using spray paint there is also an uncontrollable element to the finished paintings, as it will find ways to disperse itself beneath the stencil, making for softer lines, and in some cases making the figure to appear as if it’s glowing.

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