PCA Member Q&A: Annette Cook

Striated Pardalote Net, 2015, etching, aquatint, linocut and stencil, 55 x 50 cm (image size) 62 x 56 cm (paper size). This print was selected for the 2015 PCA Print Commission. It is available to purchase through the PCA store.

‘The potential to create pattern and emphasise or dilute an idea through repeating and repositioning a print interests me.’ 

Annette Cook lives in Victoria

Why do you make art?

Making art is about having a visual conversation with myself. I enjoy this form of communication and investigating ways to interpret the connections I see between natural and social environments. I make art in starts, often driven to continue when I see other artists’ work that challenges and incites me, and other times when I want to play.

What’s your relationship to printmaking?

Printmaking for me is a place of random success and failure on both a small and massive scale. I like this risky business and enjoy pitting myself against the odds. The process demands that I articulate with skill, restraint and constant revision. Part of printmaking’s appeal is the finite plate and hence the forced conclusion of the image. I appreciate this and enjoy working within those limits. Paradoxically, printmaking is about the multiple and the endless variations possible when reprinting the matrix. The potential to create pattern and emphasise or dilute an idea through repeating and repositioning a print interests me.

How did you get interested in printmaking?

In art school I was exposed to a wide range of print techniques and was drawn to the chemical and material processes that intervene in the image making. The transformational moment of printing plate to paper and pulling a print was, and still is, captivating. Drawing is a strong component of my practice and has common sympathies with printmaking. I was given a press and printmaking has dominated my practice ever since. I have also taught printmaking for many years.

Who is your favourite artist?

I have many including Fiona Hall, G.W.Bot, Yayoi Kusama, Kiki Smith, Gabriel Orozco, Dorothy Napangardi.

What is your favourite artwork?

One favourite is El Perro (The dog) Francisco Goya. The painting is particularly enigmatic.

Where do you go for inspiration?

Museum collections, Tasmania, nature, a farm in Central Victoria, books, galleries, online, conversation with other practitioners.

What are you working on now?  

A portfolio print for Eventide curated by Rona Green to be shown at the Mornington Peninsula Art Gallery. I am also preparing for a curated exhibition called Graphic Nature for 2017.