Theadora Ballantyne-Way

2020 QEST Howdens Scholar - Printmaking

Theadora creates surrealist works inspired by the rich history of the English pastoral landscape. She begins by carefully montaging original photographs in photoshop to create a hard-to-disprove realism, and then transforms the output using the traditional printmaking technique of photo etching, which adds antiquated textures and marks. The resulting monochrome prints hold the beauty and allure of traditional printmaking whilst engaging with the techniques and issues raised by digital image manipulation. That combination of the digital and traditional, processed with the printing, real and fake, probes at our sense of perception and challenges the aesthetic in contemporary image production.

Theadora’s work has been selected for exhibitions hosted by the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, Royal West of England Academy and Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair, and she is determined to master her craft and contribute to the preservation and development of printmaking in the UK. With support from QEST, Theadora will undertake two forms of study: a one-year Etching Portfolio Course at Spike Print Studio, Bristol where she will study with Martyn Grimmer, master printmaker of intaglio photoetching processes; and a two-week intensive photography programme at Central St Martins College of Art and Design, London where she will develop her technical photography skills.

I have always been drawn to the illusory, to images that could so easily appear normal and familiar but then are in fact the complete opposite – the more surreal the better. I want to remind people that everything they see has been curated, distorted or manipulated in some way and that every image should be treated with at least a wry suspicion.