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By Nat Morley


Variable edition block print (using lino tools)

Original artwork

Size of work:

Image: H: 100 x W: 50cm

Framed: H: 120cm x W: 70cm

Nat's work reflects a passionate interest in the natural world. 


She prints each print by hand, individually, one at a time, and spends a great deal of time and care getting the colours and the details just right. In this case, we see the energy and vibrancy of the Sailfish, the fastest fish in the world whose name derives from its massive sail-like dorsal fin.


There is always a joyous mix of movement and pattern in Nat's work. Her animal studies are as much about her reverence for each creature and its habitat as about the design elements they offer. 


"I love the boldness of this medium. It’s quite graphic – never wishy-washy – which appeals to me and I think helps generate a feeling of vitality in the designs


"Most of my prints involve more than one stage of printing. Many of them are printed with an underlying light shade and a darker shade on the top which gives a two tone effect and a bit of depth to what is otherwise a very flat medium.


"This is achieved by painstakingly wiping away areas off the block after it has been inked up with the darker colour. I then have to place it precisely on top of a light print, a process called registration. Then I flip the block and print over together so the paper is on top of the block as I print with a marvellously technical piece of equipment – a spoon! I literally rub on top of the paper really hard. Often the spoon gets really hot and I suffer a lot from an achy shoulder! However this method gives me lots of control – and I would need a huge press and a lot of space to print blocks one metre long."


    In her animal-based compositions, Nat likes to depict creatures with a bit of ‘attitude’ and aims to create bold, lively images. She regards her prints as a celebration of her love for wildlife and tries to capture a feeling of movement, vitality and humour in her pictures.


    Her process is painstaking and careful and makes every print unique in its details and ink densities: "I have specialised in relief printmaking and carve most of my blocks out of MDF using lino cutting tools.  I print them individually, using the back of a spoon and lots of elbow grease to burnish the ink onto the paper. I often spend hours, even days preparing the blocks to achieve layers of different colours and shades of ink. Some of my more complex prints take many weeks – even months to produce."


    This South Cotswolds artist studied geography at St John’s College, Oxford.  She has always been interested in both the sciences and the humanities and man’s impact on the environment. Her dissertation focused on Aboriginal Land Rights and she lived with an aboriginal community in Western Australia.


    After her degree, she decided to go back to the drawing board – literally. She took an access course in art at Stroud College and established herself as an artist with the help of a substantial grant and loan from the Prince’s Youth Business Trust.

    She is a member of the Cotswold Craftsmen, with whom she mounts lots of shows, and she lives in Tetbury with her twin daughters and four cats, where she enjoys playing musical instruments and singing. She is also very proactive campaigning for government action with respect to the climate crisis and the ecological emergency.

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