Workshop Weekly: Nina Torr new editions


Nina Torr has been a frequent collaborating artist at the David Krut workshop since 2017. Torr’s most recent visit was to pick up on components from the Marginalia body of work which had latent potential. 

The etching plates and collage elements made for the Marginalia show are just like a codex and have a multitude of meanings that can be told in a variety of ways depending on their juxtaposition. One such rhetoric is a little landscape etching made by Torr.

The artist writes: “This landscape began like most others at DKW – I was given a plate to activate. I rarely know where to begin, so I have a few go-to symbols to help fill space – a landscape, a cross-section, a volcano, a cloud. As they fill the page the elements begin conversing with each other; sometimes it takes a few months before the image finds its way. 

 This one took a while. We first tried printing it on different colours of paper. We tried activating it with borders. The image just wasn’t strong enough. Eventually it began finding its way through a process of collage. By this point I’ve built up a large bank of collage elements at DKW. I move these around on the page until something clicks. I don’t always know why it clicks, but it will provoke some kind of an emotional response. That started happening with image when the colour started getting solved. It began resembling a vintage geology chart with faded earthy colours. We also added some chine layers and a great thing happened when did did a loose test print – the blue paper overlapped the beige and formed a type of shadow or aerial perspective. Three colours for the price of two! So in the next iteration we took that further and shaped it more. It still felt a bit incomplete, so I tried a few elements in the margins – fragments from previous artworks that allude back to my Marginalia works. The margin elements are looser, more like side notes – after thoughts – than the more refined central image.  

An image becomes alive when one is able to attach associations and memories to it. Landscapes are great carriers of these thoughts. So when I look at this piece I think about what I was thinking about and how much happened over the year it took for this final image to surface. Thoughts that aren’t quite resolved yet, but getting there. “

The making of these prints, in collaboration with printer Roxy Kaczmarek, brought together several techniques, including silkscreen to achieve the flat coloured areas of paper in both the base and collaged elements, hardground and softground etching printed in a variety of colours, colour-roll printing, hand painting, chine colle, and collage. The etching has been editioned by DWK Printer Jesse Shepstone, including the meticulous repetition of Torr’s handpainting.  The practice of collage is an integral process in Torr’s mental toolbox, allowing a fluidity in composition making. It further imparts the related idea of metaphor, which resonates with the artist’s thinking and creative process. Torr notes that any creative endeavour is, in simple terms, finding intersections. Marginalia presents a body of surrealist oddities, which take notes from natural and cultural history, myth and folklore, specimen collections and historical book objects, created in such a way as to impart our current realities of digital screens and windows.

Marginalia, was a solo exhibition by Torr which includes a collection of unique variation etchings and unique pieces with hand-printed and hand-worked elements. Following her MA show Wayfinding at David Krut Projects in 2020, Torr was invited back to the David Krut Workshop in 2021 with the idea of exploring new imagery through etchings and incorporating elements of collage. Torr started with a test plate that incorporated a series of familiar visual notations using various techniques. The title of the exhibition – ‘marginalia’ – refers to notes, drawings and other embellishments found in the margins, particularly in old texts. 

Accompanying the landscape are  a small series of unique painterly monotype prints. These illustrations reference the pages of Nina’s sketchbooks. They feature 2 plates with curved corners – a la Moleskine – which are printed alongside each other to show a spread of her  notebook.


For more information on these works and their imminent release please contact [email protected]

Visit the Marginalia Viewing Room!

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