El Morgan

How to rub a fish
(2015 - ongoing) 

A series of public workshops and artist’s prints exploring the Japanese technique of Gyotaku (’fish rubbing’) and its links to ocean ecology. Invented by fisherman in the nineteenth century, this method of printing involves inking up your fish and then rubbing the imprint onto fine paper. We use edible squid ink, so at the end of the printing session we eat all the materials.

Under the name ‘Dame Hydra’, I have run fish rubbing workshops with artist Sam Curtis at the Ikon Gallery, Division of Labour gallery, Sluice Art Fair and the Institute of Making, UCL. The project has been funded by Artquest (2016) and the Daiwa Anglo Japanese foundation (2018).

My booklet ‘How to rub a fish’ (Walbrook press, 2015) details the process and history of this technique and was funded by The Leverhulme Trust.