Tuesday, 09 March 2021

Printmakers show it’s best to stick together

Printmakers show it’s best to stick together

A GROUP of 11 printmakers are staging an exhibition at the Old Fire Station Gallery in Henley next week.

They are Jan Bastow, Trish Roberts, Steve Gordon, Sue Pither, Sue Davey, Jane Gray, Gill Godwin, Ros Ingham, Joce Amirahamidi, Paul Woolley and

Ken Wright.

Together they are members of Print at the Park, named for their association with the South Hill Park arts centre in Bracknell, where they are based.

The printers will be joined by special guest Jenny Zolkwer, a ceramicist who creates wheel thrown stoneware and porcelain producing tactile pieces.

Organiser Sue Davey said: “The artists are thrilled to be back at the gallery for the third time as it is a perfect location to display their work.

“The group, which have been together for more than 10 years, produce an eclectic body of work embracing many print techniques. These will include methods such as etching, lino cut, collagraph, monoprint, and drypoint.

“The artists interpret a given medium in their own individual style. Occasionally more than one technique will be employed to create a single print.”

Each artist will be displaying six framed and about 10 unframed pieces while there will also be greetings cards for sale.

Ms Gray, who lives in Henley, has been a printer for more than 10 years. She will be exhibiting a mixture of pieces ranging from landscapes to wildlife, flora and the abstract.

She primarily works from photographs and much primarily uses a technique known as waterless lithography.

Ms Gray explained: “I use an aluminium plate which is treated with silicone so you can then draw on it with Chinese ink. Then you cover it with a silicone which results in leaving an impression on a plate which you ink up using a roller. Here you can change colours or put one colour on top of another and the plate is ready for printing either by etching or by hand.”

Ms Gray, who is a part-time music teacher, prefers printing to other art forms because the techniques are varied and the finished pieces are unique.

She said: “The reason I like printing is because I don’t consider myself to be very good at painting or drawing. Prints can be so varied and you can produce results in so many different ways.

“There is something about a print that means it doesn’t look like a painting — it’s the colours and the way they are used, the texture of the paint and the paper. There are so many different effects.

“Also, the prints can vary, they can give a different picture each time, depending on the materials and techniques used and the way you ink it up so they are unique.” Ms Davey specialises in lino printing, where the printing plate is cut into lino before being inked and run through a press.

She says due to the national coronavirus lockdown, the group have not been able to use the press at South Hill Park so this exhibition will be the first time they have got together for a while.

“It’s why we have called the exhibition About Time,” she said: “Because we have been without a press a lot of the work would have been carried out before lockdown.But some members have their own presses and have been working in isolation.

“It is a bit of a retrospective show but all the work will be shown for the first time in Henley. We’re all really looking forward to seeing each other again.”

About Time will run at the Old Fire Station Gallery in Upper Market Place, behind the town hall from November 5 to 17 from 10am to 4pm. Pieces start at £30 (unframed) to £200 (framed).

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