Red-Backed Shrike Print

Fiona Hamilton
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‘Red-Backed Shrike’ wood engraving and letterpress by Fiona Hamilton.
Printed on Mohawk Superfine White Smooth 352gsm
Paper measures 18cm x 24cm
Signed and numbered in an edition of 50

An edition from the Soma Gallery - 20 Years portfolio collection.

A little larger than the house sparrow, the Red-Backed Shrike is now almost extinct as a UK breeding species, and is on the red list of endangered birds. They perch up high to get a good view of their prey which they impale on thorns and sharp twigs in their 'larder'.

A hand carved wood engraving of a red-backed shrike with letterpress titling below the image by Fiona Hamilton. Original reference photograph by David Pallash.

Colours: black and white

About the 20 Years Collection
Soma Gallery turned 20 in June 2024 so to mark this momentous occasion we asked 20 artists to produce a limited edition print to commemorate the 20 years. A portfolio of each print from the editions go to the 20 artists, and the final 30 prints are available for sale. You can read more about the project on our blog.

Wood Engraving
Wood engravings are made by carving into the end grain of a very hard wood such as box, maple or lemonwood and is different to wood cut which uses side grain. Due to the hardness of the material, very fine details can be achieved. This technique was originally used for illustrations in books and newspapers alongside letterpress until metal image blocks arrived. It was revived in inter-war Britain by artists including Eric Ravilious, Agnes Miller Parker and Eric Gill who saw it's potential for artwork.

About the artist
Fiona Hamilton is a Bristol based printmaker. Her work explores the ecological sublime and an appreciation of the majesty of nature. She uses detailed intaglio etching, drypoint, lithography and chine collé to draw the viewer into an ethereal landscape that has an impact on our sense of place in relation to the natural world. She uses primarily black and white with natural tones of chine collé and sometimes layers of lithographic texture to introduce warmth to the stark palette and to invoke a sublime emotional connection. She works from sketches, photographs, notes and memory to create her prints.

Fiona has an MA in Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking from The University of the West of England (2023). Previously she studied Graphic Fine Art at Canterbury (2002) and established Soma Gallery in 2004.