We are excited to launch the first ever South West Printmaking Open at Studio KIND. opening on the 1st October 2022. This exhibition is a celebration of printmaking in all forms across our region; and brings together artists who are pushing boundaries, exploring traditions and delving deeper into this popular medium.
Some of the artists showing here have really pushed the limitations of what printmaking can be: Daun Marshall challenges the 2-dimensional surface, whilst Louise Thompson incorporates waste and found objects in her intaglio prints. Similarly Adam Garratt incorporates discarded materials in his practice, challenging our notion of multiples, replication and resourcefulness. Carrie Mason marries printmaking and textiles through repetitive actions which explore time and transformation, whilst Nicky Harwood explores decay, mold and rot through the printmaking processes, questioning disposable cultures and the waste generated by it. Nicky says her practice enables her to ‘embrace the chance marks and focus on process, rather than image, and breaking away from the constraints of the clean white border.’ Frances Gynn’s linocut print ‘Netwave’ explores how plastics integrate into our natural spaces, and the consequences these have on the wildlife.
There’s a strong ecological thread throughout many of the works shown here too: Erika Cann’s ‘For a Future Geologic Survey’ explores mapping through printed forms, and ‘navigates the environment through climbing - pushing, pulling, jamming and squeezing her way up and through time, geologies and accumulated narratives’. Charlotte Price RWA works with plants that grow uninhibited at the edge of rural and ancient pathways, whilst Chrissy Mouncey uses printmaking as an exploration of light and time. Jess Davies creates abstract compositions through the process of stripping back preparatory drawings several times to find the right composition and marriage of colours.
Many of these works are indicative of place and time too, such as ‘Pink Dawn at Saunton’ by Victoria Owen, ‘Devon Hedgebank’ by Annabel Hill, ‘View From The Window’ by Octavia Madden and ‘Skye Long Bothan’ by Sandra Porter, creating a valuable archive of the places we visit that inspire our work. Helen Tranckle explores how lived-in spaces and un-lived landscapes reveal the fragility of being: ‘I view this as an investigation into how we ‘fit’ – what has gone before, the evidence of life and how we crave to belong.’
In the case of Sam Cousins, Howard Porter, Eugenia Popesco and John Elliott, they are challenging the notion of printmaking as an analogue process, and explore the digital within their practice. John is interested in how computer programmes generate images and text based artworks, and how the idea of chance exists within these processes, and Eugenia says her practice is ‘responsive to the ever-changing mediation of imagery in the post digital age’. Howard Porter in interested in the processes of re-working digital images, where meaning changes and the resulting images take on a new significance through its status as an image, achieving a ‘second life’.
Many of the artists shown in the exhibition are interested in printmaking as a reduction of colour, form and process into its most necessary components. Jo Allum describes this as ‘reducing something so complex as the natural world down to a single colour or a single shape, which then gives the viewer space to split into their own memories and interactions’ whilst Judith Westcott says ‘the need for judgement at every stage means that printmaking encourages economy.’ Whereas Luna North and Kim Carlow use pattern to portray textures, explore mark-making, and create shapes. Julian Witts is drawn to the physicality of woodcut printmaking: ‘The alchemy of printmaking comes, for me, from the melding of subject and wood and knife, hand, heart and eye.’
Other artists have pushed printmaking into an expressive medium, like in the works of Susie David and Ginette Mitchell. Susie is inspired by the water’s alive, fluid and indeterminate dynamics, and allows her printing process to be led by water through inks and pigments, and Ginette Mitchell doesn’t attempt to replicate anything, but lets her compositions evolve naturally; often only recognizing a place after it’s finished, letting her unconscious do the work.
Narrative is also a recurring theme throughout the exhibition; whether it’s the political narratives as played out in work by Jude Hutchen, and the social narratives and histories of resistance and democracy in Caroline Wilkin’s work. Sam Goodwin displays his work as ‘wordless novels’, often with a humorous or satirical tone. Gemma Mackenzie’s work explores how illness and trauma can affect our bodies, inspired by the visual outcomes produced in medical diagnosis.
We’re so honoured to be showing such an ecclectic, thought-provoking and visually compelling collection of work, and shouting about all the printmaking the South West has to offer.
Full list of exhibiting artists:
South West Printmaking Open 2022
1st October -15th October 2022
Wednesdays to Saturdays 12:30-5:30pm
Private view: Friday 30th September, 6-8pm