|Artist||Sanders of Oxford x The Passenger Press|
|Published||The Passenger Press, Glasgow, 2023|
|Dimensions||Image 350 x 220 mm, Sheet 420 x 297 mm|
Sanders of Oxford and The Passenger Press have collaborated to make a new set of prints based on Matthäus Merian's engravings from the 1657 first edition of John Jonston's Historiae Naturalis de Serpentibus et Draconibus Libri II, cum aeneis figuris, Johannes Jonstonus Medicinae Doctor, concinnavit, the second book of a six volume work of the animal kingdom, which became a standard 17th century encyclopaedia of natural history. Remarkable more for its breadth and arrangement than any particular advancement of the study and classification of animals, it was an extremely popular work, in great part because of numerous engravings by Matthäus Merian the Younger and his younger brother Caspar Merian. It was translated and reprinted in many editions into the later half of the 18th century. Often sought for their depictions of mythical beats, this new set based on the images from these engravings seeks to make new versions in new colour ways and sizes while using traditional printing methods. In this case the four dragons are greatly enlarged from their original format.
Open edition printed in small batches on an antique press, using ecologically sound Somerset paper, milled in the UK.
The Passenger Press is run by Scottish artist Rhian Nicholas from her studio and shop in Glasgow. A graduate in Fine Art from Glasgow School of Art, Rhian stumbled upon the idea of using modern technology to utilise archived and found images when researching images of storks in a library archive for her baby shower card. Rhian was inspired to use modern technology and traditional methods to breathe new life into old and forgotten images. Teaching herself how to print with letterpress, Rhian ultimately created new letterpress blocks from found and archived images, recontextualizing and repurposing them with new text and in new and surprising colours to make entirely new works. All of Rhian's prints are hand printed in small batches on her two vintage letterpresses, a Vandercook Proofing Press and a 1930's Autovic, in her studio and shop in Glasgow.