This look back is with an artist who worked extensively at Peacock during his career. Willie Rodger was an established printmaker long before we were formed and had for many years used relief printing as his primary means of expression, working directly on wood and Lino blocks, cutting freely as others would draw. He had evolved a working method that did not require presses or specialist facilities, preferring instead to hand burnish the prints. This allowed him to vary the combinations of ink and pressure almost mono printing from his cut blocks.
“The project ‘Wood From Trees’ in 1982 allowed Willie to engage with the other print processes producing editions of etchings, dry points, lithographs and screenprints. His long engagement to the craft of artists printmaking allowed him to move easily into working with intaglio plates using a range of tools to directly build up images as dry points with no etching. The lithograph ‘Trees In Mist’ was particularly successful, coupling crayon drawing with an unconventional method of deletion. After the stones had been drawn Willie and Stewart Cordiner selectively removed drawn areas by grinding them down with carborundum and water using an iron levigator, a combination only normally used for resurfacing the stones ready to take a new drawing. This gave a softness to the lower part of the image suggesting trees emerging from the veils of an early morning mist.”
– Taken from our publication ‘Peacock 21’
In 1994 in association with us he produced 40 banners for the Union Street bicentenary in Aberdeen. Many of these images became much smaller linocuts with screenprint as the Union Street Folio. Willie sadly passed away in 2018 but his timeless graphic style means the work he made will live on for a long time.
There’s a fantastic video here made by Grampian TV to celebrate the bicentenary and you can see Willie’s banners in quite a lot of the shots.
We have a couple of the ‘Tiger Tiger’ screenprint left available from our Shopify store and we even have one or two of the Union Street folio left which unfortunately aren’t available online at the moment but will be available when we’re back open again –