We recently sat down for a chat with Jackie Nicholas, the newest printmaker at Dundarave Print Workshop in the Net Loft on Granville Island. She is one badass relief woodblock printer whose work showcases cheeky social interactions with dark and playful spins. She’s also my sister, so I know how much she loves Black Sabbath, her carving tools, and the hands-on process of turning a solid block of wood into a relief print. Jackie is a founding member of the art collective Sanctioned Printmakers and an artist to keep your eye out for. Her work was just featured in the Dundarave Gallery’s Winter Show, which closes tomorrow – January 3rd – at Dundarave Gallery.
What part of Vancouver do you live in and what do you love about it? I live downtown in Coal Harbour in a romantic old apartment building. It’s close to the water and very charming at night.
What differentiates printmaking from other mediums? Historically, prints were the vehicle for mass communication. They were often political prints that encompassed various subject matter that touched on social inequities. Today there are so many other mediums used to mass communicate, but I think craft and its authenticity is making a comeback.
Is there a fellow local artist you really admire? There are many artists in Vancouver that I admire, but someone who really sticks out to me is my drum teacher, Tristan. He has taught me a lot and I just really respect all of those guys down at Rufus Drum Shop.
Tell us about your favourite space to work: The print shop! I am currently working out of Dundarave Print Workshop and Gallery on Granville Island. It is a beautiful space and there is always such a sense of community in any print shop. Dundarave has been on the Island for a very long time and some amazing artists have printed in that space and contributed to the Co-Op. I also recently transformed my kitchen into a tiny print shop. My press is only 12 inches wide so it limits my size, but it is nice to be able to whip something up whenever I get the feeling.
If your studio had a soundtrack what would it sound like? I like to giggle and roll out my inks to AC/DC and Whitesnake, but when it comes to carving I’m usually listening to something with a bit more soul…like Funkadelic.
What inspires your art? Other people’s shitty art, haha. I’m also inspired by conversation and communication. There is something very primal about communicating through imagery. I want my art to be engaging and a bit cheeky as well. If I can stir up a bit of conversation between my viewers, then I feel inspired. I also love seeing posters and art on the cities exterior. Public art and graffiti have a lot of potential in my mind.
What four words capture your creative style? Chill girl, smokes weed.
What tool in your studio could you not live without? V gauge! It’s one of my carving tools. I went to the Southern Graphics Council in Portland this year and purchased some really nice Japanese carving tools, my babies.
If you were asked to give Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau a print what would it be of? I guess it would be my four eyed bear. It is kind of weird and quirky, with a bit of Canadian spirit.
Why is it important to create art? Unfortunately, I think the world is oversaturated with “artists.” Everyone and their dogs are making and creating “art for art’s sake.” With all of the craziness going on in the world today, especially concerning power, I think it is important to express opinions and human experiences through imagery.