In partnership with Leicester Print Workshop
19th May – 23rd June, 2012
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Image: Serena Smith, 2012
Midlands Print, in partnership with Leicester Print Workshop, will highlight and celebrate the art of printmaking in a variety of its historic and contemporary manifestations from 19th May until 23rd June 2012.
In an effort to reflect a representative cross-section of what’s happening in the field of printmaking today, Tarpey Gallery has partnered with Leicester Print Workshop to showcase some of the finest printmakers in the Midlands. Featuring work by Serena Smith, Gemma Wright, Ross Loveday, Peter Clayton, Catherine Headley, Claire Morris Wright, Sat Kalsi, Luci Eldridge and Kate Da Casto, this will be Tarpey Gallery’s first exhibition focusing entirely on the field of printmaking.
Leicester Print Workshop is the centre for fine art printmaking in the Midlands. From its Leicester base it offers specialist facilities and education opportunities ensuring printmaking continues to be practised and developed across all generations of artists. It seeks out partnerships with venues across the region to present and re-present printmaking to arts audiences and the Midlands Print collaboration with the Tarpey Gallery is one such coming together.
Serena Smith is a fine art printmaker based in the East Midlands. Her practice includes a range of collaborative and educational projects, alongside the making and shaping of her own visual ideas.
The processes of drawing and printmaking provide the practical framework around which Serena’s work develops. As an accomplished lithographer, both her methodology and the intellectual development of her ideas are informed and shaped by technology – integral to the visual and physical substance of her printed work is the means by which it is made. Working with both autographic and computer processed imagery, Serena’s recent printed images have been developed through the combined industrial and artistic heritage of stone lithography; printed directly from stone, her visual language evolves through a process of technical and aesthetic improvisation with this complex print medium.
Using photography as her starting point Gemma creates digital photomontages derived from patterns within architecture. These are then transferred to silk screens utilising the photo imaging process and made into 3D forms and structures. The imagery itself often appears organic and decorative in its appearance; operating with an element of chance, the image transforms when folded.
Within her practice there is a sense of a preoccupation between two dimensional and three dimensional work and their stimulus to one another. 2D prints are made into 3D objects, which are then photographed and displayed as 2D prints. Moreover there is the constant movement between photography, print and sculpture, creating an almost never ending rotation between these techniques.
I paint most subjects many times over so that it is not really the subject that truly interests me, but the many possible ways, and finally the only possible way of expressing it – it’s then that I begin to feel happy inside. It’s a pre-occupation of aspects of form in nature. The subjects are only the starting points – sometimes small insignificant details or texture which triggers a complete painting – I am very wary of committing thoughts about my paintings to print – it can so often sound pretentious and limiting compared to the depth and feeling evoked by viewing a canvas. Chance and accident in painting are accepted used and enjoyed without this the work sticks and is lifeless. I am not interested in representing the facts as such, although what is created must satisfy me of being true to life though not naturalistically accurate.
My ‘people’ series of prints started as research into my family history but the themes have broadened over time. Visual starting points are family photos and old postcards I’ve collected. I use characters from these sources and by adding text or other elements try to suggest a narrative to which viewers can bring their own experiences and imagination. The pictures combine print-making techniques (screen printing and lino prints) with hand painted elements to create one-off pieces on wooden panels. Over the past thirty or so years I’ve shown in many exhibitions around the country and have work in private and public collections worldwide. Commissions have included P&O, Faber and Faber and Rugby Art gallery. Residences have included Grizedale Forest, Buckinghamshire County Museum and Leicester Print Workshop.
Catherine’s collagraphs are inspired by her experience of cliffs and moor and ancient sites in West Penwith, Cornwall: standing stones, rocky outcrops, windswept grasses, the blues of sky and sea, orange lichen and Latin inscriptions carved in granite. Catherine studied at Bath Academy of Art and lives in Rutland. She works in a studio in Stamford in Lincolnshire and is a member of the Leicester Print Workshop. Her work is in many private collections in the UK and abroad.
Claire Morris Wright
I am a founder member and tutor for Leicester Print Workshop and feel fortunate to be able to use this facility as a working studio to expand my practice in printmaking. I live in an area surrounded by forests and ﬁelds and draw my inspiration from this and other landscapes. The changing colours,seasons and atmospheres that ebb and ﬂow through the ﬁelds and hills are my pallet. I enjoy moving the shapes and patterns I see into the abstract, whilst trying to convey a range of emotional textures that reﬂect my experiences of the land.
Horizons,edges,hills,summits and lines that show signs of habitation are all found within my work. I enjoy mixing and layering prints and processes in the same way as you would see a geological build up of the land,it is for me a creative mapping of a place and moment in time.
I graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in 2008 in Graphic Design, following this I went to work as an artist in residence at Leicester Print Workshop, where I work now on a part-time basis as part of the technical team and teaching staff.
In 2010 I completed a PG Cert in Teaching in Higher Education for Art and Design and also began working part-time for the University of Brighton School of Arts and Media in the Letterpress Workshop as a Technical Demonstrator.
My interest in letterpress printing was a progression of my interest with transfer lettering, transferring letters individually to form words from the writing of nonsensical thoughts and conversations in my mind. As transfer lettering began to become less readily available this coincided with my first year induction into the letterpress workshop at university, I haven’t worked with transfer lettering since but began a deepening affection for letterpress printing.
The prints in this exhibition are of thoughts, feelings and conversations we have in our minds but choose not to share or speak aloud. I begin by writing steams of words from my minds conversations and go on to set this in mainly lead type before printing. I prefer to work with words and images separately.
Fascinated by the combination and juxtapositions of digital, analogue, and archaic forms of picture making, my work presents not the intangible digital images of the post-photographic age, but the products of gradual processes of deconstruction and de contextualization. Realized finally through lengthy printmaking processes, the technological source images are re-presented as fragmented, and somewhat ambiguous, handmade works on paper.
Kate Da Casto
The work here examines notions of beauty in the lost, the abject and the ephemeral. The artist is presenting found objects as precious forms, capable of aesthetic pleasure, unconscious pattern and strange narratives. Working in the medium of etching, the work strips down the original context of the subject and refines its form and familiarity.
There is an almost forensic approach to the examination of the forms shown here, the mundane and humble has been presented for viewing and given its moment for contemplation, divorced from its original setting and allowed space to simply exist, captured in a moment that has now gone forever.
Neglected and unvalued, these forms are the ephemeral minutiae, detritus and background of our everyday lives, and relationships blossom between them creating strange and intriguing narratives. This work sits with the photography of Keith Arnatt, whose work concerned itself with fractional, humble subjects and who similarly, collected and documented the awkward or unnoticed.
Stripped of their original context, the viewer is free to relate to the colours, forms and textures in their own way, reappraising the aesthetic value that they afford. There is a familiarity in the subject matter for the viewer but also a call to not just see, but to notice them.