Kisokaido | 2006
Enamel Paint on MDF | 62.5 x 60.5 cm

As a print maker my work has often been influenced by printmaking, in both the technical and the historical sense. Major influences are the Japanese woodcut artists: Utamaro, Hokosai and especially Hiroshige.

I decided to make works which are constructed from major works by Hiroshige using both structure and colour. I also use the accidental abstraction that I have been working with in response to landscape where I live in the South-East of France.

Utagawa Hiroshige is thought to have been born in 1797 near Edo (now Tokyo). He died in 1858 at the age of 62. Prinicipal areas of his work were landscape, birds and flowers. It is the landscapes that interest me the most from the point of view of my own work.

He worked often in series, creating collections of prints around a specific region or location. The most important of these are the Tokaido and Kisokaido series.

One piece I made entitled *Men* is based on print No. 26 from the *Kisokaido rokujukyu tsugi no uchi*. A row of trees in the original dictates the repetitive structure in this work.. Likewise the piece entitled *Kisokaido* which takes its influence from print no. 28 *Nagakubo* the colours taken from the prints foreground and structure from the support pillars of a bridge in the background.

Other pieces take their inspiration from other landscape series in the same way i.e. *The Yoro Waterfall* which is to be found in the *Rokujuyoshu meisho zue*. The principal of construction and colour are the same.

This *Hiroshige Series* is an ongoing work and is not only meant as a tribute to this great artist but as a form of abstract dialogue using some similar visual language incorporated in the originals.

Other pieces in this series are on display in the Tour de Crest, the highest *donjon* in France and once the prison of the Marquis de Sade, in South East France from the 21st April until the 30th August 2007.

Matthew Tyson

This work features in the LANDSCAPE into art exhibition.