Annette Elizabeth Sykes
Mixed-Media and Print-Making
"Have you ever run your fingers over the surface of ancient carved stones and wondered about their meaning, their origin?
Sites of antiquity have drawn me to them like a magnet and over the last few years their images have crept inexorably into my printmaking, now emerging as an entity in their own right, weaving a complexity of unique pattern.
Intriguing and exciting is this synthesis of my lifelong love of healing symbology both ancient and modern and my 20 year journey through Printmaking. Travelling to Egypt, Australia and the Amazon, among others, and training in Reiki, have only strengthened my fascination with these ancient images. Printmaking and in particular Linocut have given me the freedom to give them a 21st century interpretation.
Simplicity of colour is chosen, along with the familiar - the human body, which acts as a conduit - as I seek to bring these otherworldly symbols into the everyday. This choice of the human body was influenced by the early Dragon carvings on Pictish stones, ‘Picti’ meaning ‘people of patterns’, so named by the Romans on Hadrians Wall because the Picts chose to paint or tattoo their bodies. This links my thoughts and allows the symbols to speak for themselves across time and space in their natural environment.
Fascination with the ancients leads into the myths and legends which surround every civilisation and often as I work with a ‘human’ figure, goddesses creep into my subconscious and announce their presence on the paper, then I just follow their lead and see what arrives as the final print. These are usually mono prints, but always accompanied by deep embossing to give surface design and texture.
The viewer who takes his or her time to look closely at the pieces will also see echoes of shapes lingering in the background, or are they materialising? The choice is theirs, the viewer is free to decide for themselves."
Annette Elizabeth Sykes
Major Exhibitions include: Great Print 7, Rheged Gallery, Penrith 2021
Ropewalk Gallery, Humberside, 2019
Cambridge Original Printmakers Biennale 2016
Kettering Open, Best Print
Fitzrovia Gallery, 2016
50 Years of Artists Prints, Bankside 2015
Northampton, Best Print
Solo show, JGallery, Moulton, 2014
Cork Street Open, 2013/2012
SWLA, The Mall, 2012/2009
Collections: V&A Museum, Scarborough Museum,
private collections in UK, Orkney, South Africa, USA, Canada, Japan, Thailand and Panama.
Publications: many, including, 50 Years of Artists Prints.