Ian Bertram ~ artist

“original art, prints, mixed media and photography”

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About Ian Bertram ~ artist

Ian Bertram ~ artist

Original prints, collage and mixed media

I started taking photographs when I was 17, then really got into it at University, where I studied Planning. After 30 odd (some very odd) years in local government, redundancy led me to working for myself until illness ended that and I decided to change tack completely. I started making jewellery and selling some of my photographs. Some of my early slides had deteriorated badly and I began to restore them digitally. I soon realised that the work I was doing could be used creatively so began making and selling digital prints.

Later, a chance visit to a print studio gave me the chance to see work in progress by the artists Howard Hodgkin and Gillian Ayres and I was hooked. I booked on to a printmaking course and for the last dozen years that's what I have focused on. I still use photographs, both as a source of inspiration and as a stage in the making of screen prints or photopolymer etching.

I grew up on Tyneside in NE England, so for me now, even at my advanced years when I think of the countryside, it brings to mind the sweeping open spaces of Northumbria or the North Yorkshire Moors or on a smaller scale the Yorkshire and Durham Dales. Living now in Wiltshire, I see a much more manicured landscape but that is compensated by the magnificence of Stonehenge and Avebury and the ever present signs of barrows and burial mounds. A few years back I also discovered that the north also had a rich heritage of rock carvings and rock art. You can find lots of information online here:

http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/era/ (England)
http://www.megalithic.co.uk/ (worldwide)

All these ideas appear in my work in various ways, with references to moorland landscapes, abstract neolithic carvings, hill figures and standing stones.

I still make other work, largely colourful abstracts. I rarely work at a large scale. I like the jewel-like feel of small, even tiny pieces. I also tend to work in series. In the shop there will eventually be a series of work called 'Ancient Landscapes' bringing together those ideas from the Neolithic, several series of 'Tiny Art' and, returning to my starting point of digital prints a series just called 'Dancers'