Angela Lemaire is an artist-printmaker, painter and writer who lives and works in the Scottish Borders. She trained at Chelsea and Camberwell Schools of Art in London and is self-taught as a wood-engraver.
Much of her printmaking has been applied to fine press books, her own artist books or as commissions for illustration. She has exhibited widely, and her graphic work, prints, paintings, drawings and books can be found in both private and public collections in the UK and abroad. Commissions have included engravings for Ian Hamilton Finlay and The Folio Society, many bookplate commissions, illustrations for IMAGINE – a Drama Programme for schools (Scottish Borders Council) – and many other commissions. Her work has appeared in numerous publications. She has also produced nine fine press books in collaboration with The Old Stile Press in Monmouthshire, Wales. Some of these have included texts of her choosing, and Afterwords written by her. All have relief images, either wood engraving, wood-cut, or linocut. The text for the fifth book, A Christmas Sequence, was one that had originally been chosen by Benjamin Britten from the Chester Miracle Cycle as libretto for an opera. These books can be seen in detail at www.oldstilepress.com. A second edition of The Plague, the first artist’s book that Angela designed, produced and printed, was published in 2009 by The Old Stile Press. This has two woodcuts and eight etchings. It was newly designed by Nicolas McDowall of the OSP and has an Afterword written by the master printmaker, Anthony Dyson. The latest book is Talking Through Trees with a text by Edward Picton-Turbervill which has over thirty woodcuts. This book is about a “thoroughly delightful exploration of trees around St John’s College, Cambridge, revealing their importance to a young undergraduate as he entwined the role of organ scholar and music student with his emerging passion to engage with the environment and its preservation …. “. From a collector: “I picked up this book yesterday. It is wonderful! Picton-Turbervill is a most engaging writer and Lemaire’s woodcuts are perfect companions … “. More information about this book on The Old Stile Press website. A facsimile edition is also available.
Angela’s statement about her work:
I am drawn to legendary and metaphysical literature and concepts and they have often dictated the direction I should take as an artist. The books produced in collaboration with The Old Stile Press reflect my interests and have included texts of my choosing as well as Afterwords I have written for them, all books having relief imagery printed from the block.
Much of my imagery is concerned with symbols and archetypes and my work has evolved in response to what the philosopher Simone Weil described as the modern world’s growing alienation from our ‘roots’ – she wrote that we are being shaped today by a lack of connection to our past and nature and consequently to the future. I have therefore emphasised a certain affirmation to nature and to history.
The other strand to my work is a lifelong interest in typography, book design and the work of the designers and engravers of the fine presses throughout history and today, and I have long been inspired by this.