Cleo Wilkinson - Artist

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One of the few artists working today in the mezzotint printmaking technique Cleo Wilkinson was born in Melbourne (Australia)  and  graduated with first class  honours degree from Elam Art School (Auckland University) New Zealand  .She has continued studies with further  workshops at Oxford University - Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art ,UK, New York Academy of Fine Art NYC,  the Art Students League of New York, Grand Central Academy of Art , NYC USA , Barcelona Atelier of Realist Art , Spain, and Graduate Diploma in  Information Science (Australia).

Her work  has been  included  in over 500 International Exhibitions  and awarded over 80  international and national prizes including :Grand  Prize Guanlan International Print Biennale Shenzhen  China , 2007,1st Prize FIIC 2020 International Festival of Contemporary Etching , Italy, ,1st Prize  Footprint 2018   International Competition , CCP USA,1st Prize Biennale Internationale d'Art Miniature ,  Canada 2018,1st Prize  International Biennial of Paper Works , Bosnia and Herzegovina ,2018,1st Prize  Mini-Print International .Inkshop Printing Centre ,NY, USA 2016,1st Prize On Paper International Print Show , Spain 2015,1st Prize   II International Biennial of Small Prints, 2104, Serbia,1st prize  International Contemporary Miniprint Kazanlak ,Bulgaria 2013,,1st Prize  8th International Miniature Print Biennial ,CCP , USA 2011,Excellence Award  Guangzhou International Miniprint Biennial , China 2014,Printmakers Council Award 8th British International Mini Print  ,London UK 2012.Honorary Medal - International Triennial of Small Graphic Forms , Poland 2014,Purchase Prize International Biennial of Engraving Acqui Terme , Italy. 2007.Special Award for Remarkable Contribution in Graphic Art - International Triennial of Graphic Art , Macedonia 2018, 

Exhibited  in over 90 international galleries including the  Victoria  and Albert Museum (London)  exhibited at the National Museum of China in Beijing .

Solo exhibitions include : New York  and Connecticut (USA),Cologne (Germany) , Bulgaria (Sofia, Kazanlak),Argentina (Sante Fe & Buenos Aires), Italy (Venice, Trento ), Vancouver (Canada) ,Serbia (Aleksinac ,Vranje & Bela Planka), Australia (Melbourne ), Spain (Barcelona) .

Cleo  has worked in over 40 international locations as an invited Artist in Residence and Guest Artist  including : Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris ,( France), Cuba (Havana),  Spain (Barcelona), British School at Rome (Italy), Florence, Venice, Perugia (Italy), The Netherlands (Leiden), Japan (Fukuoka), Luxembourg, Greece (Skopelos Island ), Sweden (Gotaland), Finland, Slovenia,  New Zealand, Vancouver, Calgary (Banff), Quebec (Canada), New York, Berkeley (USA), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Reykjavik (Iceland) , Berlin (Germany) , China (Shenzhen ),Singapore Tyler Print Institute .
Cleo has taken this complex delicate and most physically demanding of all art forms to great heights and diversity. Each image shows a great range of tonal depth which is only obtained through painstaking burnishing of the plate and many trial printings. She has also designed a unique handcrafted roulette to grind the plate which creates a rare stippled texture to the images. 

Represented by: Christian Collin Gallery , Paris France , Davidson Galleries, Seattle USA, Old Print Shop,  NYC USA, New Grounds Gallery , New Mexico USA .Galleri Heike Arndt , Berlin Germany and Denmark. 

 Studio Tour





The mezzotint process was invented by Ludwig Von Seigen in
Amsterdam in 1642. It is a laborious and time consuming
technique for creating a print and primarily for this reason
it is not widely used today.

The mezzotint has rightly been described the most complex
of all art forms. Mezzotint is among the most physically
demanding mediums in art, once tried and quickly abandoned
as “too difficult” for example by the great printmaker MC Escher.

A copper or zinc plate is “rocked” with a curved, notched blade
until the surface is entirely pitted. At this stage an inked plate
would print a rich uniform black. The artist then uses a scraper
or burnisher to flatten the raised parts, a little for dark greys,
a lot for light greys, completely for white (after inking and wiping,
the plate holds no ink where it is smooth).

The result of this process is an image emerging from pitch black
“nothingness” a true analogue to creation. Outlines are simplified
by absence of line, while substance is rendered with a virtually
infinite range of tonal subtlety.

No other art can give birth to such magnificent areas of light and
shade as this purely tonal medium. Imagery is permeated by mystical
elements derived from the unique spatial relationships of the
mezzotint medium. This technique demands a long involved process
the artist can be very closely working on a plate for at least 100
hours before even starting to print the image.