Swansea Printmakers in Tenby
Not seen there since 2009, a selected group of the printmaking artist members of the Swansea Print Workshop will show some of their finest work in Tenby during April at the White Lion Street Gallery.
Using small sharp tools, little chisels of different widths, gouges and spikes, printmakers delineate and cut out their designs on the surface of wood, lino or metal. Some designs have to be cut in reverse in order that the image is printed the correct way round. Some print on the uncut surfaces and others print the incised lines. Printmaking involves complicated processes using archaic presses, noxious potions and inks, and the kind of brain that delights in complexity. The work is made by the artist with the whole intention of it becoming a printed art piece. These are ‘original prints’, not to be confused with cheap reproduction prints that are digital copies of an original work of art and are available widely in large numbers.
The imagination and scope of the artists is seemingly not constrained by their chosen printmaking method but is certainly challenged. How do you cut a wooden surface with sufficient appropriate incisions to result in a print showing the softness of hair, or the movement of water? How is a flat metal plate cut to create distance or depth? The exhibitors here have the expertise and vision to use print materials, tools and processes to make images that not only rival that of painters but also offer another and unexpected dimension.
Nine talented printmakers from across South Wales have contributed to this exhibition. Amongst them are artists who have exhibited in the Royal Academy, the Royal Cambrian Academy, many prestigious galleries and international print shows in far flung places. The artists are:
Alan Figg who tackles themes from Dylan Thomas, religion, myth and mining history using lino prints and etchings.
Carys Roberts who uses the natural forms of birds, flowers and fruit as her main inspiration using various etching techniques.
Vessels, finely decorated or in subtle glowing colours, appear in Alan Williams monotypes, along with some quirky images.
Well-known in the gallery are Judith Stroud whose lino/digital fusions include many familiar seaside places from the Gower to Tenby and Sally Hands who represents South Wales in fine detailed wood-engravings.
Lesley Lillywhite offers layered images in etching and woodblock prints, mysterious monochromes and delicate collagraph.
History, myth and legend are portrayed by Robert Macdonald using complex etching techniques and by Bridget Stevens with etchings and drypoints while David Barron’s etchings cover a range of subjects from domestic fruit and flowers to snow covered hillsides.
You can meet most of these artists, view their amazing work and find out how they did it, at the exhibition opening on Saturday 1st April from 2 to 4pm. Everyone is invited.