Recently Danielle Creenaune has been put in the spotlight of a new interior design market. Featured in the May edition of Country Style magazine, her works provide an interesting point of discussion about the ever-increasing relationship between art and design. Creenaune is recognised for her use of the Mokulito process, which she uses to create organic, abstracted prints. The use of the technique and the unique wood textures it renders belies the seeming simplicity of her works, providing them with a reflective quality. Upon viewing Creenaune’s work, one becomes aware of the beautiful intricacies that align to create spaces to breathe amidst busy lives. Like her use of Mokulito, Creenaune views the intersection of art and design as an organic process that is beneficial in creating new areas of conviviality between usually disparate worlds.
You are featured in this month’s edition of Country Style, congratulations! How does it feel to have your works selected for such a nationally recognised publication?
Thank you, it’s a nice surprise. It’s interesting to see the work in a different setting beyond the studio or gallery. It’s also a reminder of the unique relationship we artists have to our work – on one hand works are very personal and yet when they leave the studio they have a life of their own and most of the time I have no idea what that life is and where they end up.
Seeing the work in an interior magazine such as Country Style suggested to me that a new audience, or design aesthetic that I hadn’t previously considered could interpret my work.
There’s been a definite trend in the art market that promotes a closer relationship between art and interior design. What is your take on this?
I think it’s positive. As an artist, though, you have your own intention. Mine is to make art—especially prints—with an integrity that moves me and hopefully does the same for others. If this gets picked up in the interior design sphere then I’m okay with that.
I suppose it can also be motivating for artists, when you start seeing your work in different contexts and see how people get inspired by the interesting and beautiful things around them. It does make you think about how the ‘outside’ world of art can be brought into the inside world of a house, a room or a space – mixing the abstract with the everyday.
I think that any cross-pollination of art, design and also craft disciplines is encouraging as it does exactly as you suggest: broadens the audience.
I also feel that social media has changed this intersection of art and design immensely. New designers, makers and artists are changing the boundaries between disciplines and are forming intersecting connections between ideas, concepts and contexts for art-making, and are making it accessible via social media. For me, it’s not so much about trends or such, but more about being able to bring remote or wild landscapes to life in people’s everyday spaces and social media can be a platform for people to discover this.
I’ve practiced traditional lithography for twenty years alongside other printmaking techniques and I have been using wood textures for around ten years. When I saw Ewa Budka’s video about Mokulito about three years ago I got very excited, in that there were two elements I love: lithography and wood! There was nowhere for me to learn it here in Spain, so I just took it upon myself to learn. If you have a handle on traditional lithography and are an intuitive type then you can grasp Mokulito, albeit with a lot of trial and error.
I researched and connected with some artists working in the medium in the States and Europe. It was first invented in Japan in the 70s, so I also tried to research some of the early approaches and artists from there. One of the highlights has been the buzz you get from knowledge exchange, especially as it’s still a bit of an obscure technique.
Over the last few years I’ve learned that everybody has their own take on Mokulito, their own box of tricks, and has developed their own combination of what works and suits their image making. I like this organic and adaptable nature of the technique.
Mokulito is a form of printmaking based on principles of lithography using wood as a printmaking matrix instead of limestone. The same lithographic principle that oil and water don’t mix applies. Some unique characteristics are that is produces small editions, with each print slightly varied. The image provides a wood texture that can also be combined with woodcut. As the printing progresses, the texture generally becomes more prevalent and tones are altered until the image gradually deteriorates.
Has the use of Mokulito developed your subject matter, or approach to printmaking?
Yes, in part. I work across many techniques, often concurrently. Each technique gives me a different insight and means of expression. As for Mokulito, it has opened up my intuitive side and pushed the ‘not being too precious’ element. I’m less considered about the direction my work takes and allow myself to be led to new places organically. Sometimes with printmaking there’s so much planning involved if you want to achieve a certain end result. I find this limiting and in this sense it may be a bit ironic that I chose printmedia at all! So, I have different ways to get around this and Mokulito is one of them. I think the element of chance and the absence of ‘fear of the unknown’ is having an effect on my image making more so than before.
How would you describe your art to somebody who had never seen it before?
Organic / abstract landscape / print-based / on paper / gestural / layered experience / both a remembered and present moment / naïve and expressive / intuitive / immediate / exploratory.