Christine Allison : Prints

Artist photo forChristine Allison

Many centuries ago, a Japanese emperor caught a beautiful fish that he wanted to immortalise in some way other than having a painting of it. He wanted an exact and lasting image to admire forever, so one of his artisans suggested taking a rubbing of the fish, which created a beautiful and truly remarkable print. And so, the practice of ‘Gyotaku’ began. Since then, generations of Japanese nobility and fisherman have used Gyotaku to preserve and record images of the beautiful fish found in the waters around their homeland.

Today, artist Christine Allison has adopted the same technique to bring you a stunning range of individual prints lifted from some of Lyme Bay’s most charismatic marine life.

Using freshly caught fish and shellfish, she gently brushes each creature with a blue dye, overlays it with linen and then gently rubs the fabric with her fingertips to develop delightful patterns which are transferred to allow printing, creating a mysterious and unique image.

Christine has become fascinated by Gyotaku. “It’s a slow and intricate process, but the results are wonderful,” she said.

Each one of Christine’s images comes with a tag explaining when the fish was caught, by which fisherman and on which of Lyme Regis’ home fishing fleet.

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