Print (MA)

Emily Mc Gardle

I am an Irish artist working primarily in printmaking. I graduated from Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) in 2016 with a First Class Honours in Fine Art. I was the inaugural recipient of the Mont Kavanagh Trust Fine Art Award (from the DIT Foundation) in 2016. Before attending the RCA I worked as a commercial screenprinter for a number of years.


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Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Humour, satire, and parody are important elements of my practice, allowing me to highlight and exaggerate absurdities and ironies. I create multi-layer screenprints using hand drawn artwork with an aim to exploit the possibilities of analogue media. This introduces texture and distortion to the flat surface of the print. Through drawing, I explore the nature of caricature; using it as a way to distort and represent/misrepresent.

Over the past few years, my work has been concerned with political imagery and discourse. I have a specific interest in the emotional and capricious aspects of the political world. I am interested in the process a person goes through to create a political persona, and the objectives behind the carefully curated combination of text and images that political candidates use to portray to themselves to the public. This has influenced my current body of work, in which I have been exploring facial expressions, particularly the smile. I intend to investigate the power of a smile, and the significance of those that are real or fake, conscious or unconscious.

Buy Now, Smile Now, Pay Later (still)

Buy Now, Smile Now, Pay Later

Are there instances in your life in which you feel compelled to put on a forced smile but you struggle to do so? A joke lands poorly during a best man's speech. You see someone you don't like in the supermarket. A stranger on the bus tries to engage you in a conversation about the weather.

If you find it difficult to pretend, you need A Brief Guide to False Smiles: the do’s and don’ts of crafting a relatively convincing smile. This pocket sized guide contains all the essential information you need to start succesfully faking those smiles today.

A limited amount are available- buy now to avoid disappointment!




1 minute, 7 seconds
artist book
pop-up book

A Brief Guide to False Smiles (front cover)

The eyes

The mind

The smile

A Brief Guide to False Smiles — a flip through

A Brief Guide to False Smiles: the pop-up book which provides you with the knowledge you need to master smiling convincingly against your will.

This limited edition book is comprised of 13 seperate paper elements that were screenprinted, cut, scored, folded, and assembled by hand. They are printed with highly pigmented water based ink on acid-free, archival 270gsm and 315gsm paper to ensure a robust construction that will withstand regular use.


Screenprint on paper


14.8 x 10.4 x 1.6cm

Anatomy of a False Smile

Brain detail

Eye detail

Mouth detail

Print positives

Print positives — Each layer of this screenprint was drawn by hand using opaque film markers, acrylic markers, and Indian ink on acetate and TrueGrain. Registration tabs and hand drawn registration marks were used to ensure accurate registration of layers.

Print process

Print process — Each of the 13 layers were printed by hand. Some colour areas are very small, some are much larger. Grey linework and dark green text are printed last to tie the final piece together.

Ever wondered about the science behind false smiles? If you thought that it only involved the mouth- think again! This large, eye catching chart shows the complete anatomy of the false smile. It will inform you about every part of the head which contributes to concocting a false smile. From the tongue, to the olfactory bulb, to the cochlea in the inner ear- each area is colour coded and clearly labelled for easy identification.

This limited edition, 13 colour screenprint is handprinted using highly pigmented water based inks on 200gsm Heritage acid-free archival paper, and is guaranteed to maintain its quality for 200 years.


13 colour screenprint on paper


65 x 51cm

Buy Again, Smile Again, Pay Again (still)

Buy Again, Smile Again, Pay Again

From the people who brought you "A Brief Guide to False Smiles": the all new Brief Guides to... four volume series!

These short books will further prepare you for an updated selection of real world situations in which you are likely to need to smile disingenuously. Don't let their compact size fool you- they're packed with helpful advice!

This series is intended for those who have previously purchased and enjoyed the A Brief Guide to False Smiles pop-up book, and are looking for supplimentary information and guidance.

All orders come with a free mini catalogue containing more quality products!

Also in this series: the "facial exercises" screenprint (sold seperately) designed to be used alongside the books. Buy both today and save!




1 minute, 11 seconds

Brief Guides to...

Free catalogue (detail)

Smiles: A Brief Reference Guide (detail)

Exercise Your False Smile (detail)

Should I Smile? (detail)

A Very Brief Guide to False Smiles (detail)

Brief Guides to... — a flip through

From the makers of "A Brief Guide to False Smiles" comes the follow-up "Brief Guides to..." four volume series.

Their lightweight compact size means they're perfect for on-the-go use. Keep them wherever you need them most: in your pocket, your wallet, or the palm of your hand.

The series includes:

- Smiles: A Brief Reference Guide - this book documents the differences and similarities between a range of easily identifiable smiles.

- Exercise Your False Smile - a leaflet containing a number of helpful exercises to assist you in executing three different types of false smiles.

- Should I Smile? - a fold-out flowchart which will help you to decide whether or not a smile is warranted in any given situation.

- A Very Brief Guide to False Smiles - a miniture book for discreet use in emergencies.

- Smilin' Stuff - a free catalogue full of exciting smiling products.


Laser print on paper


Variable from 14.8 x 10.5cm to 3.7 x 2.6cm
This "facial exercises" print comes at a discounted price with every order of the "Brief Guides to..." series placed in the next 10 days - saving you 15%! It can also be purchased seperately.

The handy chart is designed to be hung beside a mirror in your home and used in conjunction with the "Exercise Your False Smile" workouts from the series. It will help you to successfully carry out the range of exercises that are essential to training your face to perform false smiles.

It is screenprinted with highly pigmented water based ink on 200gsm acid-free archival paper. It is coated with a layer of matte varnish to protect from stray spatters of saliva which are liable to strike it when in use.


Screenprint on paper


42 x 29.7cm
Royal College of Art
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