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Neil Bousfield

Read a little bit about our keynote speaker Neil Bousfield.

1)  “Although contexts and thinking change, drawing, narrative and relief engraving have remained steadfast within my personal practice, thinking and outcomes. There are the obvious aesthetic concerns of colour, texture, mark making and pattern manipulated through craft based skill sets using drawing as a way of collecting and relating to the world around me as the original source material for engraving. But the true driver of my practice is content, expressed through sequence to generate meaning within a personal context. Once images come together stories can be told, narratives are formed and the investigative nature of the human condition seeks to understand, rationalise and make sense of the world around us through what the practitioner presents for us to read. This basic concept remains constant within my practice and has led to the output of animated films, books, collections of prints and themed series or sequences of prints. Each “container” whether book, film or portfolio allows for the containment of ideas, as once ideas are contained they are focused and become about something. This fascinates me and allows me to transcend concerns based around media, subject, aesthetic, skills and craft and focus on content whether social narrative or investigative observation.” Neil Bousfield.
2) “Wood engraving is a discipline that combines drawing, making and thinking, and as such provides me with an evolving process to explore concepts and techniques. There is no denying that the physicality of the process, the tactile nature of inks, papers, blocks, craft skills and the haptic feedback gained through the very act of  engraving is fundamental.  However, the simple nature of the process provides no room for fuzziness as there is a clear and direct relationship between hand and mind.   

I  am a contemporary engraver, and use materials and processes that suit my purpose. The  exploration of narrative and communication   of my ideas is at the heart of my practice.  Different prints allow new innovations: the use of new materials and colour seems to lie on the edge of the tradition of wood engraving.  

Living on the Norfolk coast has led me to explore the concepts of transformation, change and fragility.  The process and methodology of transforming a landscape space in to landscape place, where space is something we occupy or exist within and place is an emotional   construct, intrigues me; we make a place, we make a home. These concepts and ideas associated with a sense of place, place dependency, narratives of place and landscape experience are the key concepts that drive my practice.   

My work aims to create a belonging, a knowing, a connection to and an understanding of what it means to live and make work on the Norfolk coast within a wider social, historical and environmental context.”    

For more information about Neil please visit his website.