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Print festival to celebrate Plymouth’s inspiring printmakers

A new arts festival, Print in Action has launched at Ocean Studios with the aim of bringing printmakers together and celebrating print in all its inspiring forms. 

Ever since Plymouth School of Art was founded in 1856, the city has been a destination for artists and makers, but this is the first time there has been a city-wide focus on printmaking and the extraordinary talent in the area. 

Led by Real Ideas and the community of printmakers at  Ocean Studios, Print in Action is a six-month programme, and will include a series of workshops, masterclasses, talks and discussions, culminating in a three-day festival from 21 – 23 October 2022. 

Print Residency 

The festival launches with a summer residency for emerging creatives at Ocean Studios. The residency enables print artists to have access to specialist print facilities and work spaces, as well as helping them to make connections with other like-minded creatives. Use of facilities during Print in Action will provide an outlet to showcase and market their work. 

Junior Print Club 

Also running across the festival are a series of workshops for children, age 5-11 years. They will get the opportunity to use collage, texture and drawing across a variety of print techniques. 

Workshops 

From May, there will be a series of classes held at Ocean Studios, to learn about a variety of print techniques including screen printing, linocut, mono-printing, collagraphy, and dry point. 

Learning and collaboration throughout the year will be consolidated at a special Festival weekend, 21-23 October, where suppliers, educationalists, venues and printers can come together to share their expertise and services and market their unique prints to the public. 

Francesca Hawkesworth, programme co-ordinator, at Real Ideas explains: “Print in Action is about shining a light on the wealth of printmaking currently happening in and around Plymouth. It is also about creating new opportunities for emerging makers, and building connections and collaborations to help our talented printmakers with their skills and routes to market. We are still pulling together the programme for the rest of the year, but we already have a phenomenal line-up of masterclasses in the pipeline with printmakers from Plymouth and the surrounding area keen to share their ideas, creativity and techniques in print with others.” 

Beth Munro, is a printmaker based at Ocean Studios, who reflects her interest in the natural world, through a variety of print techniques. She will run a series of print tutoring workshops during Print in Action and says: “During lockdown, we saw unprecedented interest in printing. Having time during lockdown enabled many people to re-connect with their creative side. We’re keen to help people develop those interests and become part of a creative community down here at Ocean Studios or in other provisions in the city. I think it is an exciting time to get involved in this Print renaissance.”

“Plymouth has a first-class College of Art and the University which is producing the next generation of artists. It’s important for them to try various techniques, learn from artists and utilise the facilities we have in Plymouth to help nurture our arts and cultural industries. Plymouth’s art scene is thriving and we need to continue to develop this. Creative spaces, such as Ocean Studios goes a long way to achieving this, but as a sector, we need to collaborate, share techniques and best practice if we are to keep print art alive.” 

Alan Qualtrough, who runs the Kiss and Bite letterpress studio will also run print workshops throughout the festival. He says: “There are brilliant facilities at Ocean Studios and a lot of professional help is available to improve your skills. Step up your creativity a level or two by joining up with our friendly artistic community.” 

To see the full programme of events and for further details, visit: https://realideas.org/whats-on/. If you are a creator and would like to run a Print in Action activity, get in touch via programme@realideas.org.  

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