School of Arts and Cultures

Staff Profiles

Erika Servin

Technician (Printmaking)

Background

Introduction

Visual Artist and Printmaking Technician.As a Printmaking Technician I am in charge of giving tutorials to students on diverse printing techniques such as etching, relief printing, monoprints, lithography, screen printing, laser cutting, among others. As an artist interested in Mexican graphics.

Background

Born in Mexico City in 1972 and lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. In 2000 she obtained her Master of Arts degree in New York University, since then she has been exhibited in the UK, Mexico, Australia, NY, Finland, France among others.

Currently she is working in Newcastle University as Printmaking Technician, is a Trustee for Northern Print and continues exhibiting her work. Among the recognitions she has had from the Association of the Contemporary Museum of art of Chamaliers, France, for her contribution of art in contemporary times. In 1998 received a Fulbright-Garcia Robles grant to study her MA.

Her work is based on societal issues and, she is inspired by popular Mexican culture, as well as commercial murals, printed matter such as calendars, packaging etc.

Roles and Responsibilities

Teach and support print related technical information to staff and students.

Qualifications

Master of Arts New York University

Memberships

Edinburgh Printmakers
Trustee  for Northern Print

Honours and Awards

Fulbright Scholar

Languages

Spanish
Finnish
English

Informal Interests

Design

Research

Research Interests

Traditional and contemporary Printmaking.

Other Expertise

Painting and drawing.

Current Work

My imagery and inspiration derives from the iconography of Mexican popular culture: commercial murals, calendars, print and everyday objects. Influenced by my cultural background, I translate the concept of Mexican popular culture from symbols into narratives to create new imagery of mixed past and present worlds.

Printmaking is the primary source of manipulation in my practice, not only due to its well known historic relationship with Mexican popular prints but also owing to its unique qualities and possibilities. Now a day, we have the chance to use old techniques with new technologies to produce enriched images. These possibilities allow for new forms of expression to convey the old and new, representing both ancient and contemporary through process and concept.


Future Research

Composite cultures : art, migration and identity in Newcastle.

Newcastle is not only a cultural city, but it is also a multicultural community. It is the hub of the North East for Asian, Black, Chinese and other ethnic groups who contribute to and draw from the indigenous identity of the North East. This diversity has lead Tyne and Wear Museums to explain that part of their mission is to ‘help people determine their place in the world and define their identities.’ In line with this increasing recognition of local diversity and its implications for identity, this project will research migrant identity in Newcastle, focusing on how identity is manifest in visual and material cultures. It will explore the effect of migration to the North East on identity and how the amalgamation of cultures has had an influence on strengthening, weakening or changing the perception of self. In so doing, it will create and critically consider a multicultural portrayal of Newcastle.
The aims of this project are:
• To research how identity is affected by migration, focussing specifically on visual and material cultures.
• To examine the role of visual art and artefacts in the ‘cultural make-up’ of migrants and how this is affected by contact with other contacts.
• To explore the potential of visual interpretation of cultural identities through printmaking techniques.
The context:
My own background has given me an incentive to study this theme. I am a Mexican artist, who has lived in four different countries (United States, Finland, Scotland and England). As a result of all these transitions, I have gained an understanding of how my cultural identity has changed and the how process of repeated re-discovery has impacted my self-perception. Most importantly, the search for cultural identity has become manifest in my art practice since moving out of my home country. A key aspect of this is memory and how memory becomes implicated in the act of placing and locating communities, particularly for migrant communities who tend to be outside formal histories.

Teaching

Technical teaching of Printmaking Techniques.

My main group teaching is done to first year BA in Fine Arts. Gavin Robson and myself work with the students in relief, etching and screen printing areas.

Other wise I teach one to one diverse techniques such as lithography, screen printing, photo emulsion etching, photo litho, laser cutting and engraving, digital printing, problem solving and editioning etc.