Name: Helen Maxfield
Tell us something about yourself?
I am a linocut artist from Suffolk in the UK.
Who are you as an artist and why do you do what you do?
The work I have created so far has been mainly based on the landscape where I live in Suffolk, UK. I am also interested in depicting animals and buildings. Recently I have become interested in story telling and narrative pieces. I think the reason for my subject matter is possibly that the creation of the print and the processes involved are more important to me than the subject it depicts. By that I mean that I so enjoy the making side of the process, the subject is to a certain extent incidental.
When did you first become aware of your interest in printmaking?
I first tried printmaking at university in 2000, however that didn’t include linocuts. It wasn’t until an evening printmaking course I did at Suffolk College with Jude Lockie that I settled on it as my main practice. I think that was in 2006. I started exhibiting in about 2011.
Which printmaking technique/s do you mostly work with?.. and why?
Although I have tried many printmaking methods my favourite is linocut. I feel it is a very accessible medium and so I can work at home rather than have to go to a print workshop. I also love the look of linocuts. They have a particular quality and I feel the character of the artist can be seen through their cutting.
Do you have any kind of ink and paper that you prefer to work with?
I use Lawrence Linseed Oil-Based Relief Printing Inks and Zerkall printmaking paper.
What role does the artist have in society?
There are many valuable roles an artist may have in society such as teacher, therapist, designers etc. As for my own personal role in society I see it as a way of inviting people to see things from a different viewpoint. I wouldn’t say that I do this intentionally (I certainly don’t have extreme views that I wish to express through my art), but through my prints, I hope people might see the world from my viewpoint. My reasons for creating art are in all honesty self-indulgent, however, what viewers take from them will hopefully be of value to them, and often in ways that I may not have intended.