About

About Fenja

Until recently, I was an archaeologist and a palaeo-ecologist, having worked for over a decade throughout many regions of Australia. In that time, I gained a PhD from the Australian National University, focused on the high country regions of southeastern Australia. My interest in printmaking developed during these years: inspired by the impressions I’d gathered in the field, I began creating linocuts as a portable creative outlet in my spare quiet moments.

Today, printmaking is my main occupation. I am continually experimenting with new techniques, effects and compositions. The technical nature of printmaking appeals to the researcher in me, and I think the fine details I incorporate into my work are the product of many years of scientific training.

My goals are to express and share the impressions I’ve gathered from across the country and from my observations of local natural features and ecosystems. I’m a member of several local artist communities, including Canberra Art Workshop, the Artists’ Society of Canberra, Megalo Print Studio, and Canberra Potters. I have displayed my work in selected group exhibitions since 2020, and have won several art prizes. I have also taught nature-inspired printmaking since 2021, including regular workshops through NatureArt Lab. You can find a short artist CV here.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Inspirations

I create ecologically and archaeologically inspired artworks that connect with and reflect the Australian environment. I want to portray the rich landscapes of Australia, focusing on the unique plant and animal species that make up delicately balanced, and often threatened, ecosystems. A part of my art also focuses on our Indigenous cultural wealth. Every ecological landscape across Australia is also a cultural landscape; reminders of this are found abundantly across every terrain.

Image: Drawing inspiration from the Australian high country (Namadgi National Park)

About my prints

I have worked in relief (lino) printing for over a decade, and have recently added solar plate etching, drypoint, and various forms of monoprinting to my work. I also enjoy dabbling in other forms of printmaking, and I’m currently exploring aluminium etching and wood engraving. Since 2022, I have been printing on clay, with the fine texture of porcelain making it my favourite clay body.

My artwork typically consists of layered printed images that combine to form snapshots, details and impressions of our ecological and cultural landscapes.

Relief printing

I’ve tried carving with “traditional” linoleum, but over the years, I’ve always come back to using japanese vinyl for my relief plates. I find it so easy to use and perfect for the intricate details I love including in my work. I roughly sketch my designs onto the vinyl surface and then work out the finer details as I’m carving.

Solar plate etchings

The attraction of solar plate etching (as opposed to many traditional etching techniques) is its non-toxic nature: it requires only sunlight and water! The possibilities using this technique are vast; two of my favourite include developing collected botanical specimens straight onto the plate for beautiful organic etched patterns straight from nature, and turning my pencil and pen drawings of found objects and other images into durable and printable templates.

Monotype

I love texture and colour, and I enjoy experimenting with different types of monoprinting. I work with gel plates and other surfaces, often directly using leaves and other textured objects to add balance and depth as backgrounds for my prints