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Kristen McClarty is a self-taught artist, working out of her studio in Kommetjie, Cape Town.  Over the last ten years, she has exhibited first paintings and more recently, printmaking and textile (botanical contact print and stitched) work, in galleries in the Cape as well as Gauteng and Mpumalanga.  Her attention turned to printmaking in 2016, when she spent time working in the studio of Alma Vorster, learning printmaking process and technique, with a focus on relief printmaking, dry point intaglio and monotype.  In 2021, Kristen started on reduction and multiple layer woodblock prints, in the Western and Japanese techniques. This body of work has been exhibited in Cape Town and continues to develop.  Kristen draws inspiration from her surroundings, places she finds herself, and her emotions in those places.  She spends considerable time outdoors, recording light, shadow, cloud movement, rock formation and silence, both in photographs and water colour sketches.  She also works in acrylic on canvas, generally painted en plein air. These pieces of information are translated in her studio, into woodblock and monotype prints. Kristen works from small to large scale, feeling for the edges of an idea, and often revisits similar source material to develop an area of interest.


Artist statement

Kristen McClarty has spent the last year developing a new body of work, using reduction and multiple block woodblock, monotype, and water colour to translate feelings of immersion in a place.   This work covers her interaction with the environment of the Cape, stretching from the coast to the Cederberg. 





Kristen McClarty

Recording in progress

Medium: Multiple block and reduction woodblock print on handmade Japanese paper - Echizen Hanga

Edition 5/6

Print size: 45 cm x 58 cm

Framed size: 53.5  cm x 67 cm


Avialable unframed.

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Kristen McClarty

Molecular Transfer

Medium: Multiple block and reduction woodblock print on handmade Japanese paper - Echizen Hanga

Edition 2/6

Print size: 46.5 cm x 60 cm

Framed size: 53.5 cm x 67 cm


Available unframed

"Woodblock print is a form of relief print where the artist carves away parts of the surface of a woodblock, so that the remaining surface can be inked and the image transferred to a sheet of paper or textile, in a single or multiple layers.
The two exhibited pieces are from the same series or body of work (The Residuals) and are both multiple block and reduction woodblock prints, printed in 7 or so layers, on a handmade Japanese paper called Echizen Hanga.
These woodblocks draw on the idea that lived experience lingers in a place, recorded on rocks, droplets of water and suspended
particles in air and liquid. A residual energy, reluctant to leave, pooling in the space or mounting up as a palimpsest on the very structure of the environment. In my work, I document a lingering trace of self as I pass through tannin rich waters. A recording of existence and presence on the water molecules, floating botanical particles and the surface of the rock or branch that I brush past.
As my body drops beneath the surface, suspended fragments of the surroundings hide my very existence." 

Note also that "Recording in progress" has been selected for inclusion in the Woolwich Contemporary Art Fair in London in October 2023, along with another of Kristen's Woodblock prints. 



Over Exposed 

Seven Layer Reduction woodblock print.

Edition of 7.


79 x 65cm

Framed in Kiaat.

R9 500

Study of the yellow rocks in summer - framed.jpg

Study of the yellow rocks in Summer.

Edition of 12.


10 layer reduction woodblock print on hand made imported Japanese paper.


64 x 44.5 cm

R 10 200

Hand pulled multiple block and reduction woodblock print (10 layers and 12 colours), with a small natural paper edge, depicting the lichen covered rocks on the coast near the village of Kommetjie.  Rich and saturated colour and mark making, with evident wood grain, scratchings, shadows and an imposing suspended rock. The sky is printed off a separate block with an exposed grain.

This piece shows a strong Japanese influence, which runs through Kristen’s other work.

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A Monday Morning Embrace.

8 layer reduction woodblock print.


106 x 68cm .

Edition 6/6.

R11 600

8 layer reduction woodblock print - oil based ink on Fabriano Tiepolo (295 gsm cotton paper) - An edition of 6

This piece positions the artist as a solitary presence, in an expansive environment devoid of human scars. The time is dawn, bringing with it opportunity, possibility, and the choice of living the new day in a different way. The sunlight is touching the ridge on the Western side of the valley, but no rays reach the artist.  The landscape still rests, and in this time of quiet and promise, prehistoric rock formations approach the sweeping curve of the river for a drink.  As they have for eons before.

With this artwork, I am offering the viewer a different way to value what is around us and find a way to preserve what has always existed and may not continue to do so, with our interference.


Flowering Aloe. Linocut print. Paper 420 x 295 mm

Edition of 30.



Negative Space is Positive.  Linocut Print. Paper 420 x 295 mm

Edition of 15



Junction. 7/30 Limited edition single block linocut print. Edition of 30.  50cm x 35cms (paper size). 39 x 26.5cms (image size). R2705.


Is Anyone There? 3/30 . Limited edition single block linocut print. Edition of 30. 50cm x 35cms (paper size).


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Circling Crows 1. Limited edition Multi Block Linocut. Paper 29cm x 28cm . Edition of 15.


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