Love, J. (2012) [No title]. Exhibit at: British Printmaking Japan: 6th International Kyoto Hanga 2012 International Print Exhibition: Process and Innovation. Kyoto City Museum of Art, Japan, 31 July - 12 August 2012.
Printmaking in the UK is flourishing; with renewed interest by artists in all forms of traditional printmaking as well in technologically advanced media. An interested public has responded positively to this surge in activity and to the accessibility and affordability of print. This exhibition brings together a diverse group of artists working in Britain today, held together by their commitment to being artist printmakers. The continuity of printmaking depends on the facilities being available and accessible, on the processes and skills being passed on and inspirationally taught, and on the work receiving exposure and critical acclaim. These factors bring together these selected printmakers, not stylistically, by medium or ideas but through the institutions in which they trained; the studios in which they work, the societies to which they belong and by the institutions which collect their work, to give an overview of the context of British printmaking. Although subject to financial stringency British universities continue to teach printmaking and have responded positively to the increased interest by students. Whilst most art students study to undergraduate level, the ambitious few, often mature students, aspire to MA courses in printmaking. Mature students have not always done printmaking in their previous lives or studies and bring to their practice distinctive subject matter and ways of working. Margaret Ashman read Physics at Oxford, Susan Aldworth, Philosophy at Nottingham, Rachel Owen has a PhD in Italian Literature from London University and Sumi Perera is a doctor and scientist. Others such as Dawn Cole, Liz Collini and Jenny Wiener had successful business careers. The Royal College of Art (RCA) in London, a postgraduate university is excellently provided for with both staff and facilities and has consistently produced some of the most exciting printmakers of this generation. Lucy Bainbridge, Adam Bridgland, Liz Collini, Helen Fay, Sara Lee, Timo Lehtonen, Bronwen Sleigh, Ruth Uglow, Jenny Wiener and Annie Woodford are all graduates, most from Printmaking but Helen Fay from Natural History Illustration, Annie Woodford from Glass and Ceramics and Monica Petzal from the painting school. Characterised by a cool professionalism, the dramatic and inventive use of their large exhibiting space and a move away from traditional and 2 D prints, RCA printmaking has always pushes the boundaries. The long tradition of printmaking at Camberwell College of Art, part of the London University of the Arts is upheld in its prestigious MA course which is led by Finlay Taylor and was previously led by Frances Tinsley. Amongst its distinguished staff of artists is the co –curator of this exhibition Rebecca Salter. Less well-resourced than the RCA it nonetheless excels at innovative and thought provoking traditional printmaking with a high emphasis on the quality of ideas. Daniel Alexander, Marianne Ferme, Eleanor Havsteen Franklin, Katherine Jones, Jo Love, Anne Norfield, Sumi Perera and Monica Petzal are all graduates. Outside London printmaking continues to thrive in Brighton under the eye of Timo Lehtonen with recent graduates such as Margaret Ashman and Penelope Kenny and in Bristol at the UWE with its ground-breaking technology producing graduates such as Jenny Smith. Regrettably other courses have closed, many of Britain’s finest printmakers emerged from the Central School of Art in London, including Anne Desmet, John Duffin, Jason Hicklin, Peter Lawrence, Sasa Marinkov and Frances Tinsley