Print in Action – Plymouth’s first dedicated print festival
Ocean Studios will act as the main hub for Print In Action activity across the weekend, dedicating all corners of the building to printmaking in every shape, form and size. There will be something for everyone, including food and live music from local producers. It’s a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in creative contemplation, and collaborate in making prints big and small.
Lecturer Monika Rycerz from our BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing and Printmaking course and Arts University Plymouth Imprint Lab Workshop Coordinator Claire Gladstone, along with Real Ideas, have created a number of opportunities to support emerging and established artists from our university on their creative journeys, including art residencies and a call for student collaborators.
Drawing on the theme of ‘Togetherness’ and in the spirit of collaboration, a number of our current undergraduate students will be paired with a Print in Action experience. These experiences might include participating in workshops, events or talks, with opportunities to share skills, learn techniques, meet new artists and makers and play a part in shaping the festival.
Matt Holmes with his printing equipment
Matt Holmes, a Technical Demonstrator in Fab Lab Plymouth, will be present with his “techno heritage” letterpress on display. Alongside Arts University Plymouth alumni Alan Qualtrough, Matt will present his work and research funded through our most recent round of Knowledge Exchange, which Matt has used to recreate the lost Atlantic Sans Condensed typeface. Matt’s workshops have already utilised the rescued font, by inviting the public to come and “Print Your Action” – making visual the messages that they feel are important to speak up about.
Posters made by members of the public will be displayed across Ocean Studios to create The Truth Wall. The wall references successful historical campaigns which gave voice to marginalised people, such as the “I AM A MAN” campaign of the American Civil Rights movement and the Atelier Populaire movement in Paris. Over the duration of the workshops, and culminating at the Print in Action Festival, the printed messages will be pasted onto the Ocean Studios hoardings, growing in number and creating a powerful collective message.
Also taking part will be MINSKI and the Original Fruitcakes, two new fashion brands established by recent Arts University Plymouth alumna Nina Westwood and Poppy Yeomans. Both have recently opened a new retail space in Plymouth’s GTMP store. Their clothing is crafted by a small community of local makers, artists and printers using hand-printing methods to design fabric and rework old clothing. During the festival they will also run an informal patch-printing workshop with BA (Hons) Painting Drawing and Printmaking student Ismay Rose Berncastle. The workshop will show how to bring new life into older clothing using recycled materials and block printing methods.
Oliwia Nowotnik's designs from her fashion label MINSKI.
As part of Print in Action, Royal West of England Academician Sarah Gillespie, will be on hand in our print room on campus running a Mezzotint Surgery. Sarah trained at the Atelier Neo-Medici Paris and at Oxford’s Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art with numerous works appearing in the Royal Academy of Art Summer Exhibition. Her most recent series of prints, MOTH, are a hauntingly beautiful study of the night creatures. She will be on hand to answer questions about rockers and scrapers, the preparation of plates, engraving, papers, inks, and more. It’s an incredible chance to learn more about a process described by Sarah as, “messy, brain-tanglingly difficult, and frequently frustrating!’
Bristol Print Collective will be carving a large-scale linocut on the Sunday and visitors can get involved with the inking process as they print the block with a heavy-duty roller. Besides the large program of talks and other events, not to mention Print Your Yoga, described as Twister with paint, there will be so much to get involved with.
Print in Action runs in Plymouth from 22 to 23 October. Click here to book your tickets.