Printmaking never fails to disappoint with its sheer diversity and with so many different mediums at our fingertips it shows no signs of slowing in the number of applications and combinations that can be used.
Here at Rheged’s annual The Great Print Exhibition this is demonstrated to the umpteenth degree. Hundreds of print artworks span its walls. Print technique after print technique. And each one all produced with subtle shits in tone and temperament given the particular desires of the artist involved.
This is the beauty of printmaking, you may think its simply a case of making marks on a piece of metal, card, paper or wood for example which you then ink up. Every single print is undeniably unique. Yes. No two prints are the same. The amount of ink an artist uses could be applied more generously or pressed a little heavier next time. The overlaying of colours could shift a few millimetres to spark interest in a different way.
With so many alternative ways of printmaking it means there are always new, expressive opportunities and endless technical challenges available to artists willing to experiment and innovate. Curiosity and learning are the heart of all printmakers.
The Great Print Exhibition manages to display over 600 pieces in its one huge space and has also been running print workshops in the gallery space using an old Albion Press next to the latest 3D printing machine. You could simply spend hours taking it all in.
And I took loads and loads of photos from my visit… you’ll be amazed by its diversity.