Richard Collins’ latest body of work is an extension of his daily habit of drawing. Most of the prints have been made directly from life with some from earlier sketchbook drawings. Their subject matter encompasses what he find around himself – family and friends, their pets and other animals, fellow tram and bus passengers, still life and suburban streetscapes.
“I think a print is a success when it captures something necessary and sufficient about its subject. I aspire to the dictum “multum in parvo” – a lot expressed in a little, and the choice to work exclusively in black, white and grey is made in this spirit. Two printmakers who exemplify this ideal and inspire me above all others: Rembrandt for his vigour, economy, forensic observation and encyclopaedic humanity, Edgar Degas for his witty, restless, compositional and technical experimentation.”
Collins enjoys the relatively low tech aspect of both the monoprint and the drypoint, as well as the urgency demanded by making them from life. “In addition there is the excitement of going to the press with plates upon which it was hard to see the lines as you are inscribed them. You get the delayed pay-off seeing what you have (or haven’t) captured on the plate.”