The storm before the calm: preparations for exhibitions by Endale Desalegn & Robyn Penn

Blogger: Jessie Cohen


This week, we are busy preparing for multiple exhibitions at DKP, opening next week on 5 November 2015 as part of First Thursdays.

On Monday, Endale Desalegn – whose exhibition, “Two Social Pacifiers ጡጦ”, will be at the Parkwood gallery – came to the workshop to sign finished and flattened prints which he’s been working on with printmaker Kim-Lee Loggenberg.

Endale Desalegn signing monotypes with Kim-Lee Loggenberg for his exhibition, “Two Social Pacifiers ጡጦ”

Master printmaker, Jillian Ross  has in the meantime been editioning four etchings by Stephen Hobbs, in addition to “Detroit Heavy Set” which was made at Salt & Cedar Press in Detroit while on his lecture tour in the Unites States. These works will feature at the  Editions/Artists Book Fair (EAB) in New York. Ross was assisted by Neo Mahlasela, Sbongiseni Khulu and Martin Motha, who is an intern at the workshop.


“Detroit Heavy Set”, by Stephen Hobbs, made on a letterpress at Salt & Cedar Press, Detroit, USA.

On Wednesday, Robyn Penn was in the studio to mount two collaged cloud prints, titled “Stella’s Cloud” and “Malevich’s Cloud”. These pieces are geometrically assembled cut-outs extracted from trial proofs which were done for her “Nine Views of a Cloud” work. All three works will be exhibited next Thursday.

Robyn Penn mounting “Stella’s Cloud” and “Malevich’s Cloud”. When asked what inspired the works, Penn said: “the geometric forms are influenced by glaciers falling apart”.

Penn named these pieces after Frank Stella and Kazimir Malevich as a nod to the abstract, minimalist approach they took to making art. While her references to other artists are overt in this instance, Penn stresses that “this naming of work after artists [which she has been doing for years] isn’t always manifested through a direct influence. It can relate to an idea or even just a feeling”.

Ross has further been editioning a series of etchings by Penn, titled “Cloud of Unknowing I-IV”, in preparation for Penn’s imminent exhibition. Working with pace and precision, Jillian is making four colour variations of the copper plate, for which she is working across three plates for a single print as it is not possible to layer colours over one another when the ink is wet.


On the other side of the workshop, Kim-Lee van Loggenberg has been editioning Mischa Fritsch’s “Proxy-me-tree”.

Kim-Lee Loggenberg and Sbongiseni Khulu gluing an edition of “Proxy-me-tree”, which is on very delicate Gampi Chine-Collé paper, in preparation for adhering.

According to Kim, “when using Chine-Collé in printmaking, the paper can pick up very tiny details from the copper plate, where the artist has etched the image. It gives the image a softness that normal archival paper does not allow for.”

Tune in next week in the run up to the exhibition openings and an entertaining Q&A with Stephen Hobbs about his trip to the States.

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