Inside SNAP’s intimate main galley space is Fractions, which displays meticulous prints by Belgian artist Ingrid Ledent. Hanging on the walls is a series of black-and-white, grey-and-white, and red-and-black lithographs characterized by the geometric patters and organic shapes imprinted on their surfaces. A careful, detailed process has left its mark on each of the prints. It doesn’t seem like an artist’s hands were involved; instead, you get the impression that the paper instinctively exhaled the images onto its surface.
Despite what it seems, Ledent’s prints were created by hand through a complicated technique. With lithography, you print images by using a stone; the stone’s flat surface is manipulated to repel ink in certain areas, except from where the maker has drawn an image. When the stone is inked and pressed with paper, the drawn image is imprinted on the paper’s surface.
When you look closely at Ledent’s prints, the paper appears to have a tactile quality. It’s as if Ledent printed on wood veneer: the lines and curves in the patterns on the lithographs are similar to the patterns of wood grain.
The prints on the walls interact with two large-scale images in the centre of the room that rest on a flat plinth. On one side of the plinth is a grey-and-white print with a pattern that resembles waves of sand repeatedly kissed by gusts of wind. The ink on the paper flows back and forth from light to dark, projecting depth into the pattern. Next to this print is an image projected onto a layer of sand. The image on the sand ebbs and flows, carrying geometric shapes across a multitude of tiny rock particles. The shapes the projected image creates in the sand seem to be part of the sand itself, as if the sand has moulded itself to the image of the print.
Staring at Ledent’s work is mesmerizing. The images seem innate to paper and to the sand, gracing these surfaces with the presence of her ideas and thoughts. You will likely leave Fractions wishing you could see the artist’s printmaking process for yourself.
Until Sat, Apr 16
Works by Ingrid Ledent