John Duffin is a print maker and painter well known for his striking black and white prints focusing on great architecture, depictions of modern life in urban environments and city streets at different times of day. He mostly uses etching techniques to create his limited edition prints, which consists of drawing through hard ground wax with a sharp needle onto a copper plate, favoured for its sensitivity and subtlety. John Duffin draws cross hatched lines of varying densities to create spatial compositions including London motifs in particular, working from small pencil sketches he creates whilst out walking in the city streets gathering inspiration. He works mainly in black ink on bright white paper resulting in dynamic contrasts between shadows and highlights. John Duffin also plays with view point, with the perspective often tilted so that the viewer is made to look down from above onto the buildings and structures within his etchings, giving a strong, impressive feel.
Background & Influences
John Duffin began printmaking whist studying BA Fine Art at Goldsmiths’ College in London. He was drawn to printmaking by his fondness of Edward Hopper’s early prints, with his incredible use of light and shadow and the shared ability to capture dynamic representations of modern urban life. John Duffin was producing drawings in black biro with cross hatching, inspired by Giorgio Morandi’s use of cross hatching techniques to create tone in black and white images, and linear mark making which enabled him to easily translate these skills into printmaking using the etching technique. He then continued his creative studies and completed a Masters in Printmaking at Central St Martins College of Art.
In the Gallery
Arrival (King’s Cross St Pancras Station) and Strand Sunlight are just two of John Duffin’s highly popular London themed prints in our Ealing gallery. As the title suggests, Arrival depicts a flood of passengers, with elongated shadows arriving at Kings Cross station, as strong sunlight bursts through the entrance creating a contrast between light and dark. A similar effect is used in Strand Sunlight which shows the busy London street bathed in the light from the setting sun, again casting long, dark shadows giving both prints a powerful impression and an illusion of depth.
John Duffin was recently awarded The Most Outstanding Print Award from Sir Peter Blake, acknowledging his individual style with his ability to create unique images of figures, architecture and contemporary urban life and its demonstration through powerful black and white etchings. John Duffin continues to produce limited edition etchings in his London print studio.