Wednesday evening saw a number of intrepid printmakers braving the heat wave (and aged vehicles in my case) to travel east to Barnard Castle, in neighbouring County Durham, where our group "Cumbria Printmakers" have set up temporary home at The Witham. Members of the group had set up the show in sweltering heat the day before and we had the easy job of standing around admiring everyone's hard work in the beautiful gallery space.
The show includes a wide variety of different print techniques from etching and lino print to experimental cyanotypes, gel plate printing (such as Tracey Metcalfe's handmade book above) and digital work. I have four pieces in the exhibition, all cyanotype monoprints with hand embroidered details.
Cumbria Printmakers is "...a Social Enterprise working to champion printmaking through exhibitions, events and outreach activities. The group aims to support artists, promote printmaking and collaborate with our partners and the local community to develop courses and workshops which make printmaking accessible for everyone." As well as showing our work (and hoping to sell one or two) each exhibitor was asked to provide written information, examples of tools and materials and images of work in progress. These are fascinating and highly informative documents, worthy of an exhibition in their own right and I loved talking to other artists about their processes; discovering the differences, similarities and unusual problem solving techniques used by them. During the exhibition and continuing throughout the following months, members of the group are running various print workshops at the venue which you can find out more about here. The Witham is a wonderful venue, worth the journey just for the coffee and cakes in the beautiful cafe and it looks as though they host a fantastic variety of events, including music, theatre and educational talks; the staff and volunteers were lovely and friendly too so I thought I would quickly share this link about one of them who lost everything in a fire recently.
So now I am back in the west, the heat wave is over but the printmaking continues as I prepare for Art in the Pen next month. Visit The Witham if you can, it really is worth it. x