Ralph Kiggell makes prints and collages of imagined plant species, pieced together as chimera, like the ‘lion-goat-snake’ monster in Greek myth from which the term comes. His process of water-based printmaking uses mostly materials drawn from nature: blocks of wood, mineral pigments and handmade papers from Japan, Korea and Thailand. He works with pieces of wood that are jigsaw-cut from larger blocks and reassembles them as prints. In other images, he cuts out plant forms from paper and collages them together. This assembling of pieces mimics the gathering of plant specimens and their recordings dried and pressed for scrap books, as botanical illustrations or laid out in museum vitrines.


Ralph Kiggell originally came to East Asia to study Chinese, living in China and Hong Kong. He moved to Japan in 1990, first studying Japanese woodblock printing with the Yoshida family of printmakers, before becoming a research student in Kyoto under Akira Kurosaki, and finally completing a master’s in printmaking at Tama Arts University, Tokyo. In 1999, he moved to Thailand, where he has held residencies, taught and lectured in printmaking. His work is in private and public collections, including the British Library, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and the Yale Center for British Art. Ralph is a Member of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers and has been Vice-Chair of the International Mokuhanga Conference since 2014.