Struan Teague is an abstract painter and printmaker based in Copenhagen. Working across large and small scale canvases, screenprint editions, and artist books, Teague creates a visual language of forms through a balance of compositional structure and intuitive touch. The use of instantaneous processes and materials - screenprint, spray paint - force quicker decisions to be made, resulting in intuition taking a crucial role in the image making process. This process involves an element of uncertainty; but the accidents and unplanned decisions are frequently the most exciting.
How did you discovered the handmade printing world and why did you choose it as your art of expression?
I started printmaking a few years ago at art school in Dundee, the print workshop and technicians there are incredible. I tried various different techniques of etching and lithography but it was screenprinting that I really got into. There's something about the screenprinting process which always seemed really natural to the way I work, it’s a relatively fast process and allows for really interesting layering, repetition and quite spontaneous compositional decisions.
What are you working on in your studio right now?
I'm currently selecting and finishing off some pieces for a solo show of abstract ‘Test Prints’ at Limited Works here in Copenhagen, opening in November, it’s all going to be totally one off prints made by mixing and layering different combinations of separations from all the screenprint editions I’ve made over the last year or so.
Can you describe your working routine and how is your studio space and how, if at all, that affects your work?
Just a few weeks ago I moved from Scotland to Copenhagen, I’ve been setting up a new painting studio here and getting used to life in a new city, so my working routine is all over the place just now. My work’s always quite closely effected by surrounding space, it’s perhaps too early to tell how my new work will be influenced but its certainly providing a lot of inspiration. While I haven’t had much access to a proper print workshop recently, I’ve been doing experiments with processes like cyanotype printing which can be done just about anywhere without needing as much equipment as screenprinting.
Tell me about your process, where or how things begin, how they evolve and with which material do you work.
I work really intuitively and quickly. I usually do a lot of quick sketches which I then edit and turn into prints, then I might make a painting based on that print or using an off cut from the printing process, then I’ll make another print from that painting and the process just keeps looping on and on like that. You’ll find the same forms and shapes repeated and distorted throughout all different kinds of my work.
What are you having the most trouble resolving in your process?
I always find it difficult to talk or write about my work, so the admin side of working as an artist isn’t easy. To me, my work is totally visual and intuitive, I don’t relate it to words at all.
Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?
I’ve got some favourite materials and processes which I go back to all the time but I try not to get too restricted by this as well. My practice is slightly divided between printing and painting but I’m really interested in merging this together more, so I’ve been doing some large scale screenprints on canvas and other materials - lots of plans to experiment more with this soon.
Tell me about your influences in the handmade printing range or in other ranges (music, cinema, etc)
Its always a great influence to work collaboratively with other printmakers, learnt a lot doing some prints with Bobby Sinclair and Palefroi in the past. Also just beginning a really interesting collaborative project with some great Scottish based printers including Al White, Jamie Johnson and Roos Dijkhuizen, keep an eye out for that.