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Noonie Minogue


Random objects or patterns generate stories. Even if they are trees, rocks or soup ladles or merely smudges they begin to resemble something like the human form - or if not that some curious animal-human-divine hybrid. 

If anything sums up this atmosphere it is Pope's Essay on Man:

"Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state,

A being crudely wise, and rudely great:

With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,

With too much weakness for the stoic's pride,

He hangs between; in doubt to act or rest;

In doubt to deem himself a God or Beast;

....Created half to rise and half to fall;

Great Lord of  all things, yet a prey to all;

Sole judge ofTruth, in endless Error hurl'd:

The glory, jest and riddle of the world! "

From drawing, without a particular plan, I've been surprised by silhouettes that formed in a mythic landscape, often where the sea meets the shore, the sea being the theatre where Iliads and Odysseys are played out  - conquests, colonies, diasporas, expectations of gods - or Barbarians, folies de grandeur or forlorn inertia. The often classical titles are merely a kind of short hand to indicate the kind of transaction I think is going on between the figures - which I can only guess at after the event.

Music is at the heart of all things for me -  as the animating force of all imaginings and actions. Sometimes the horizon line will turn into a stave, or an amphora will look like a stringed instrument. Or a treble clef will creep in.  Or I take a shape through variations. The excitement of printmaking is that you can experiment with the same image many times over, testing the effect of different colours and textures to create an atmosphere. The etched plate is usually a starting point for mono print. Two prints rarely come out the same.

Recent work has been more abstract - minatures with a base colour printed to the edge of the paper, collaged from an accumulated store of direct trace markings on tissue and embossed with deep bitten plates.


Noonie Minogue studied English Literature at Cambridge, Classics at London University, and etching and lithography in Rome. She is a book reviewer, classics tutor,  author of "Nero the singing Emperor" (Short Books). Her new translation from Modern Greek of the Autobiography of Markos Vamvakaris, the Man and the Bouzouki is published June 2015. ( She plays cello and guitar in various ensembles, Greek, Persian and classical and draws inspiration from the music and poetry of the Mediterranean.