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This complex woodcut by Philip Trusttum has been made with several separate woodblocks, each printed in a different colour and arranged on three separate sheets of paper. The figure represents a horse rider and is closely related to a series of paintings by Trusttum from the same period based on horsemanship. A feature of the series was the artist’s technique of cutting up randomly painted canvases into smaller jigsaw-like pieces which he re-assembled directly onto the wall. In many ways “What’s!” carries this idea over into the woodcut medium, as the abstract relief images come together to form the shape of a rider. With its complex arrangement of shapes on separate sheets of paper, this print would have proved challenging to register and print, and the end result is a tribute to the collaboration between Trusttum and Christchurch printmaker Denise Copland.
Trusttum studied painting at the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts, graduating in 1964. Since this time his career has been consumed with painting, by far his favoured medium, with printmaking forming a minor component of his output.