A UWE Bristol fine arts graduate has created a series of Titanic-inspired work for the 100th anniversary of the tragedy, which will go on display in galleries in New York and Latvia.
Mary Rouncefield made a series of prints as a result of discovering an unknown family link with the loss of the liner. Her grandmother’s younger brother Edward Harris was just 18 years old, and was employed as a steward on the doomed ship, along with her grandmother’s fiancé Michael Rogers. Both of the young men died when the ship went down, but the story only emerged when papers relating to the disaster were found after her grandmother’s death.
Altogether, she made a series of six aquatint etchings and seven screen prints. The Noble Maritime Museum in New York plan to exhibit the six etchings and the Etching Guild in Riga will exhibit thirteen etchings and screen prints. She started on this project while a student at UWE Bristol and the print work she produced formed a major part of her Degree Show display. Since then the work has been displayed on her website www.maryrouncefield.co.uk, which led to the invitations to exhibit her work internationally to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster on 15 April 2012.
Mary said: “I decided initially to make a series of aquatint etchings to commemorate my great uncle and the ship. Some of these etchings incorporate facsimiles of various documents using the ‘chine collee’ technique, which involves pressing additional decorative papers into the final image as the etching plate goes through the printing press. One of the etchings is called ‘Waiting’ – this has a message written by a friend of my grandmother on a postcard, which she sent in the anxious days after the sinking, when relatives were still waiting for news.” She added: “I would like to thank UWE Bristol staff for their help and support particularly etching studio technician Dave Sully.”