Margaret Arthur and Jean Duncan


BOTH these printmakers are Northern artists, and both are involved in the Seacourt Print Workshop in Bangor. Their styles and approaches, however, are very different, and each has been allotted a floor of the Graphic Studio Gallery to prove this. Their personalities, however, complement each other rather than clash head on.

Jean Duncan, on the ground floor, bears at times a surprising resemblance stylistically to the late and lamented Mary Farl Powers. She employs a kind of "ribbon" motif and has a strong calligraphic bias, elegant and flowing, but also, by contrast, sharp and angular at times. The colour is always clean and tasteful, and as you might expect, there is a polished, almost a virtuoso technique.

On the floor above, Margaret Arthur appears much less involved in the actual concerns of "quality" printmaking and more in reaching out into an extra, imaginative dimension. In fact, she is almost an Expressionist, and the titles indicate a strong literary interest but the prints themselves are not literary or illustrative. They have a strong landscape element and also employ figures in a dramatic or visionary way, almost to the point of surrealism in certain cases. It would be particularly interesting to see her work with or alongside a literary text, creating her own visual equivalent or parallel to it.