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ID number:  BIRRC-A1484
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  Campus Collection of Fine and Decorative Art
Artist / Maker:  Prentice, Dinah
Title / Object name:  A4
Object type:  Screenprint
Date made:  1970
Materials:  screen print on newsprint
Measurements:  Overall: 83 cm x 61 cm (H x W x D x Dia x Wt)

Dinah Prentice, A4, c.1970, Screen print on newsprint, 83 x 61 cm

Notes:  In 1963, Dinah Prentice’s husband made a throwaway comment that she had not been considered for an upcoming group exhibition as ‘she wasn’t currently making any work’. In response, Prentice went up to her studio and working with what she had to hand - and in a spirit of good-humoured defiance - made a collage utilising cuttings from a newspaper.
The resultant work displayed here is entitled A4 after the standardised paper size which the collage occupies. It may be minute in scale but its effect is still unflinchingly bold; letters collide to create a page of text that is entirely unreadable with typeface dissected into its formal visual makeup, reduced to a page of ticks and marks.
The artist’s interest in text lies in both its graphic visual nature as well as its ‘black magic’ quality of translation of a system of signs able to carry and communicate complex ideas. This would later develop into a fascination with poststructuralist theories concerning language.
This small collage was a starting point and would later become the inspiration for a colossal textiles work of the same name completed in 1978.

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