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Neil Bousfield

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.

Research and Pratice

  • August 2013: ‘Drawing in Practice: A Portfolio of Objects’ – Production of a hand printed limited edition portfolio of engravings with hand letterpress typeset text
  • 2013: The Cycle third edition – Letterpress edition / collaboration with Richard Lawrence
  • August 2013: ‘A Load of Old Cameras’ – Engraved limited edition print awarded the Rachel Reckett Prize
  • June-August 2013: Royal Academy Summer Exhibition – 2 prints selected for exhibition
  • 2012-2013: 8th British International Mini Print Exhibition, Printmakers Council – Engraving selected for UK touring exhibition
  • 2012-2013: The Society of Wood Engravers 75th Annual Touring Exhibition – Prints selected for exhibition/selected show
  • 2012: Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, Ohio State University Libraries, USA – Acquisition of engraved artists’ book The Cycle first edition
  • 2012: The Best Tools, the Best Methods, the Best Aim: The Society of Wood Engravers 1920-2012, Manchester Metropolitan University – Exhibition, MMU Special Collections Gallery
  • 2011: ‘Choice Cuts’ – Article, Printmaking Today Vol.20 no.4 Winter 2011
  • 2011: ‘Walking Shadows: A Novel Without Words’ – Book review, Printmaking Today Vol.20 no.1 Spring 2011
  • 2011: ‘Runners’ – Engraving, selected for SWE and The Ashmolean Museum Print Archive, Oxford University
  • 2011: The Art of the Woodcut Novel, AVA Gallery and Art Center, New Hampshire, USA and Plymouth State University, NH, USA – Original prints from woodcut novels by Frans Masereel, Neil Bousfield, Marta Chudolinska, Roger Buck, Megan Speers, George Walker and Stefan Berg
  • 2011-2012: The Society of Wood Engravers 74th Annual Touring Exhibition – Prints selected for exhibition/selected show
  • 2011: BITE 2011 Artists Making Prints, Mall Galleries, London – Exhibition / Invited artist. Award for outstanding engraving ‘We Once Made Steel’
  • 2011: Bewick’s Legacy: Six Contemporary Wood Engravers, Washington Printmakers Gallery, USA – Group exhibition of engravings.
  • 2010: The Graphic Novel in the Purest Sense, Edwards Art Gallery, Holderness School, USA – Exhibition / Invited artist. Exhibition of work by two graphic novel pioneers Frans Masereel and Roger Buck and four contemporary author/artists inspired by them.
  • 2010: The Cycle second edition, published as Walking Shadows: A Novel Without Words – Commercial publication
  • 2010: The Society of Wood Engravers 73rd Annual Touring Exhibition – Prints selected for exhibition/selected show
  • 2010: Bitten and Pressed, Aberystwyth Arts Centre – Contemporary Artists’ Prints
  • 2010: ‘To Have and to Hold 2’ Chapel Row Gallery, Bath – Exhibition / Invited artist. Exhibited engraved prints and my book The Cycle, artists’ edition, in group exhibition of books, calligraphy and prints from the Fine Press Books Association
  • 2009: The Society of Wood Engravers 72nd Annual Touring Exhibition – Prints selected for exhibition/selected show
  • 2009: Impress 09, Stroud, Gloucestershire – National printmaking festival / Exhibition of prints
  • 2009: Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum Pre-Impress Show – Exhibition of prints
  • 2009: Elected a member of the Society of Wood Engravers
  • 2008: The Society of Wood Engravers 71st Annual Touring Exhibition – Prints selected for exhibition/selected show
  • 2008-2009: 7th British International Mini Print Exhibition, Printmakers Council – Engraving selected for touring exhibition.
  • 2007: The Society of Wood Engravers 70th Annual Touring Exhibition – Prints selected for exhibition/selected show
  • 2007: Royal West of England Academy – ‘Millennium Bridge’ engraving selected for RWA open exhibition, Bristol
  • 2007: University of the West of England, Bristol – Mini-print exhibition
  • 2007: Awarded Rebecca Smith Award – Award received for engraved narrative book The Cycle containing 200 engraved images
  • 2007: The Cycle first edition (Artists’ edition) – Production of first edition of hand printed, hand bound book containing 200 engraved images
  • 2006: The National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum, London – Acquisition of engraved artists’ book Downsized first edition
  • 2006: The Society of Wood Engravers 69th Annual Touring Exhibition – Prints selected for exhibition/selected show
  • 2006: New Designers London
  • 2006: The Subscription Rooms, Stroud – Exhibited hand engraved book
  • 2005: Warwick University, Warwick – Exhibited hand engraved and printed book Downsized in a group exhibition of artists books
  • 2005: Ruskin Mill, Nailsworth – Exhibited prints and artists’ book Downsized in group exhibition
  • 1998: ‘Commuter Blue’, Film (3D animation), awarded 2nd place in Softimage & Intergraph competition
  • 1997: London Effects and Animation Festival, ‘Commuter Blue’ film (3D animation) exhibited and nominated for LEAF award
  • 1994 & 1992: Hiroshima Film Festival, Japan – Exhibited animation/film
  • 1993: ICA, London – Exhibited animation/film
  • 1992: International Animation Festival, Cardiff. Exhibited 3 pieces of animation/film
  • 1992 & 1991: Riverside Expo Film Festival, London – Exhibited animation/film

Other Activities

  • 2009: Society of Wood Engravers – Elected a member of the Society of Wood Engravers, UK
Neil Bousfield

– Neil Bousfield