Michael Waight: Landscapes Thought and Felt
The conception of Michael Waight’s prints and wood constructions starts from a point of noticing something within a landscape. A colour note or a form that is observed. It then goes on a small journey, trying to balance the observational with a composed element. It sits within the grounds of ‘poetic logic’. A collaboration of the imagination and moments seen in front of the eyes.
Born in Dorset in 1960, Waight has lived and worked in the North East of Scotland for nearly thirty five years. For many years he has worked as a Master Printer and printmaker in Aberdeen and has been a part-time and visiting lecturer at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, University of Dundee and also a visiting lecturer at Grays School of Art, Aberdeen.
There are a total of thirteen pieces that make up this series of monoprint woodcuts. While making these prints Waight kept in mind a poem sequence by Wallace Stevens – ‘Thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird’. The prints are not an illustration of the poem but tackle the idea of having the same composition but from different angles, different colours and moods. In their cubist conception, each piece works similarly to a haiku poem. The mono-print approach gave Waight freedom to change colours and to work up the layers of relief printing as needed.
Waight has created a balance between dusk and day, with the sun and moon of equal importance. The wood construction relies on this harmony of light and dark, of making an object from a subject.
A Scottish Quodlibet
The title of this piece is taken from the Thomas Warrender’s trompe-l’oeil painting exhibited on the ground floor of the Scottish National Galleries. Waight wanted to incorporate an eclectic series of disparate icons that he had used in his recent work. For example, the miniature fret saw relates to the hand held saw he uses when making construction work. The feathers are used when making etchings and the keys and seeds are exploited in recent work. These features are bound together in a playful composition.