In the studio with Jazmina Cininas – Artist Feature

In News May 28, 2020

Image above: Jazmina Cininas  Blood sisters  2016  reduction linocut with second block  edition 15  69.5 x 56 cm

Jazmina Cininas creates elaborate reduction linocuts which depict intriguing incarnations of female werewolves. Drawing upon a diverse range of courses, such as early modern woodcuts, Baltic folklore, Victorian gothic literature, historical records of witch hunts and werewolf trials, psychiatric and medical literature, comics and contemporary cinema, these unique portraits bring to light the many overlooked yet fascinating narratives of female lycanthropy.

In the following artist feature we glimpse an insight into the technical side of Jazmina’s practice. Jazmina is a Melbourne-based artist who lectures in printmaking and artists’ books at RMIT School of Art and has exhibited extensively within Australia and internationally. In 2014, Jazmina completed her PhD project, “The Girlie Werewolf Hall of Fame: Historical and Contemporary Figuration of the Female Lycanthrope.” Through rigorous research, Jazmina identified individual women – both real and fictional – from throughout Western history who embody diverse aspects of the werewolf legend. She then produced a complete set of original reduction linocut portraits, creating a visual mythography of the female werewolf informed by the myriad incarnations of female lycanthropy while also bringing to light hidden or forgotten narratives. Jazmina has exhibited her ongoing “Girlie Werewolf Project” throughout Australia and the Baltic States, and has also presented papers on printmaking and female werewolves nationally and at international conferences in Philadelphia, Budapest, Oxford, Manchester and Estonia.

Earlier this year, Jazmina presented a solo exhibition of prints and artists’ books at the prestigious National MK Čiurlionis Art Museum. Eglė and the She-Wolves was Jazmina’s first solo exhibition in Lithuania since 2002 and received extraordinary critical acclaim and media attention.


Reduction linocut

The following images from Jazmina’s studio, demonstrate the technically laborious reduction linocut process. Reduction linocut prints use the same piece of linoleum to print several layers over the top of one another in different colours. Areas of the block are cut away following the printing of each layer.

This particular print, Blood sisters is from 2016. Blood Sisters is an homage to the cult trilogy, Ginger Snaps – the story of two outcast sisters, Ginger and Brigitte, living in the mindless suburban town of Bailey Downs in Canada. Steam punk corsets reference the historical costumes from the third film, Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning, merged with the more contemporary themes of menstruation and narcotic addiction that are the key narrative devices of the first two films, Ginger Snaps and Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed. The purple of Ginger’s corset matches the wolfsbane flowers which has the power to keep lycanthropy at bay, and to which Brigitte becomes addicted in Unleashed. The lady shaver, hockey stick, hypodermic needle and scars from self harm are all motifs appearing in the trilogy. A “Warner’s Le Gant” undergarment here serves a dual purpose: an archaic ladies’ sanitary belt as well as a resurrection of the Early Modern lycanthropic girdle motif.

14242313_1337463936278684_6199205166050190322_oImage drawn on the block – first layer cut

14205968_1337458846279193_7018261516175213518_oLayer one – ink on lino block

14184483_1337460899612321_7248785056715578800_nLayer one printed

14184530_1337466176278460_3561888056723294411_nLayer two inked up 

14202687_1337470479611363_245491078906381106_nThird layer cut

14196008_1337473326277745_8775034754910419757_oLayer three printed 

14199332_1337483242943420_3177355831858135208_nLayer four printed 

14233050_1337485846276493_3461260976428105316_nLayer five printed 

14212092_1337493946275683_244554837601833712_nFurther reduction

14212121_1337499209608490_2893114691305400913_nLayer six printed

14224792_1339720996052978_4417660450525212019_nLayer seven printed

14310432_1339729162718828_3244153355724296945_oLino inked for layer eight

14237469_1339734329384978_2523867453655226029_nLayer nine printed

14224852_1341429165882161_831539258122616838_nMore cutting

14317607_1341440902547654_3414646393536873875_nLayer twelve printed – second red layer


14264958_1343223999036011_8566361660037585755_nLayer thirteen printed 

14232369_1343224172369327_3161998154477142923_nLayer fourteen inked

14305218_1343224299035981_1749381540151213315_oLayer fourteen printed

14316822_1348566215168456_9139537279432533561_nFinally finished cutting!

14317384_1348567628501648_5106080558755206417_nLayer fifteen printed

14344683_1349645975060480_6065219832710288954_nLayer sixteen

14333826_1351167128241698_3941404211571970656_nLayer seventeen – complete!

Artists’ books

Jazmina also makes complex artists’ books. She uses recycled printed ephemera, such as used envelopes and encyclopedia illustrations, in a conscious effort to move towards a more sustainable artistic practice. Many of these one-off creations, draw on Baltic imagery and themes interspersed with antipodean motifs, inspired by her own cultural heritage as the Australian-born daughter of Lithuanian refugees. Most recently, she has been shortlisted in the 2020 Libris Awards: The Australian Artists’ Book Prize for her magnificent homage to the Baltic dairy industry, Estonian Love Token. Click here to read more.  

The following images demonstrate the intricate process of putting together one particularly large artist book, The Stars Woo Salme to the Clouds with the Language of Birds. The vintage collage material was sourced during an artist residency at the Estonian Printing and Paper Museum, Tartu, in 2017. This material has been supplemented with used business envelopes. The three-tier concertina structure can be displayed in a circle and is commonly referred to as a star book.

The subject of the book references an episode within the Estonian epic poem, Kalevipoeg, in which the beautiful human girl, Salme, marries the Prince of the Stars, and leaves her earthly home to live with him amongst the clouds. Salme was hatched from a grouse egg, while her sister, Linda, began life as a hen and a third girl, their servant, had originally been a raven. In the tale, Salme refuses marriage proposals from both the Sun and the Moon, before agreeing to take the Prince of the Stars as her husband. Each of her suitors arrive with a retinue of sixty horses.

IMG_2876 IMG_2886 IMG_2888



Jazmina Cininas  The Stars Woo Salme to the Clouds with the Language of Birds  artist book with collage from vintage Estonian reference books  20.5 x 81 x 11 cm

In the stock rooms

A selection of Jazmina’s prints and artist books are available to view and purchase through our online stock room. Click here for more.

112701_TPJazmina Cininas  White fell’s eyes turned (green)  2010  reduction linocut, edition 13  20 x 15 cm