Apologies for my lack of posts recently! I have been preoccupied with making new prints and setting up the UK Printmakers community (which you should check out!). I kept meaning to post a couple of things just before Christmas, the first being the Etsy Made Local fair in Cambridge. I went there especially to have a go on Richard Horne‘s new Printvend machine, where I managed to complete my collection of Printvend prints! I previously used the original Printvend machine, which is now a permanent feature in The Book Hive, Norwich. It was great fun and I love the idea of a vending machine with prints inside! It was also nice to actually meet the person behind the prints, Richard Horne.
After the fair I went to the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology to catch The Power of Paper, an exhibition featuring printmaking from Australia, Canada and South Africa. The exhibition was described as ‘a revelation of eloquent art made by black and indigenous artists since the 1960s. Inspired by environments from the Arctic to the Australian desert, from the country and the city, it foregrounds visions of place, custom and history, in settings that are at once profoundly different, yet linked by empire and the politics of decolonization.’ There were some great prints, which reminded me of some of the work I saw earlier in the year at The Polar Museum.
A couple of months ago I visited The Polar Museum in Cambridge. Admittedly, I did not think I would be that interested in a museum about polar exploration, but I was very wrong! I did the audio tour, which I think it made more enjoyable and would recommend doing it if you have the time. The museum has hundreds of artifacts from several historic polar expeditions, the main focus being on Captain Scott’s journey. Stand out pieces on display include Captain Oates’ sleeping bag and the letters the men wrote when they knew the end was near. One of my personal highlights are the items of food, including the large sledging biscuits and pemmican. Especially with the audio tour, you get a good sense of what it must have been like at the time in those conditions and the sadness towards the end of Scott’s expedition.
Another thing you get a sense of is what life is like in the Arctic, including the modern day. I was surprised and happy to find printmaking on display, along with other Inuit artworks and carvings. The above picture, ‘Boy Feeding Birds’ is one of the prints I saw. It is created using a stonecut technique. This was the first time I had really looked at Inuit art, I found the simplicity and honesty of some of the pieces refreshing. Being a fairly small museum there is only so much art on display, but the collection is available to view online here.
The Polar Museum is definitely worth a visit, even if you think it isn’t for you, you will be surprised!
Visit The Polar Museum Website
Whilst at The Fitzwilliam Museum on Saturday I saw Caroline Watson and Female Printmaking in Late Georgian England. The exhibition shows prints by Caroline Watson, who is regarded as ‘the first British professional woman engraver’. She worked together with artists such as Sir Joshua Reynolds and used the techniques of stipple etching and aquatint.
Highlights include The Death of Cardinal Beaufort, stipple and etching after Sir Joshua Reynolds, (1792). In the exhibition there are two copies of this print, one with revisions made after Reynolds death, where the devil is removed from the image.
The exhibition is on until Sunday 4th January 2015
On Saturday I visited The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge to see two exhibitions, the first being La Grande Guerre: French Prints of The First World War. The exhibition consisted of colour lithographs and woodcuts detailling the first seven months of World War I.
Highlights include, Dans le Bois de Augustow…, Un soldat allemand en feu... and Notre artillerie lourde… by Eduardo Garcia Benito.
The exhibition has since closed but is available to view online here
Last weekend I visted the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. As well as the vast art collection, I was able to see three exhibitions, ‘A World of Private Mystery: John Craxton’, ‘The Rampant Lions Press: A Letterpress Odyssey’ and ‘From Root to Tip: Botanical Art In Britain’.
The highlight for me was the Craxton exhibition. I had not come across his work before and I was really intrigued by the variation in style…bright and bold paintings to simple pencil drawings, both as impressive as each other. If you have not yet discovered John Craxton’s work I recommend looking him up, you can find out a bit more here.
The Rampant Lions Press exhibition has a lovely selection of letterpress pieces, most of which are typographical. My favourite piece from the exhibition was a book cover design by Sebastian Carter for The Tiger’s Bride. I definitely recommend this exhibition for people interested in printmaking, typography and artist books. The exhibition continues until 18th May.
‘From Root to Tip’ features watercolour paintings of plants by both professional and amateur artists. There are some beautiful images, my favourite was of a purple Iris. The exhibition continues until 11th May.
My image for the CSV ‘Young People Can Do Great Things…’ poster competition was chosen as the winning entry by Catherine Flood, Print Curator at the V&A. I received a signed copy of her book in the post today! I also got feedback from Catherine: ‘I think this is a strong idea with a clear and memorable graphic. I like the way the designer has used colour to enhance the text and speak directly to the viewer.’ Read about the competition here.
View my entry for the CSV ‘Young People Can Do Great Things…’ poster competition.
I have entered a poster competition being run by the volunteering charity CSV, which is asking entrants to design a poster based on the slogan ‘Young people can do great things…if you give us a chance…’ The competition is to be judged by Catherine Flood, the Print Curator at the V&A Museum. My entry is a linocut with digital text. Find out more about the competition here.