- Exhibition by leading original printmakers from Southwest Scotland
- From unique artwork to cherish, to cards, decorations and stocking fillers
- Artists’ group aims to promote the region’s original printmakers
Twenty five artists from Southwest Scotland who specialise in original printmaking are holding an exhibition that promises to be a perfect chance to buy unusual and beautiful Christmas gifts.
South West Scotland Printmakers (SWSP) was set up a year ago following a successful inaugural exhibition at Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries.
Their second exhibition is a return to the same venue, with a show where people can simply enjoy the art or buy it straight from the gallery wall, and runs from 13 November into the early New Year.
In addition to framed and unframed original prints, some of the printmakers will hopefully also be offering hand printed objects from cards to delightful stocking fillers.
Among those taking part will be SWSP founders Sarah Keast from Moniaive, Colin Blanchard from near Lockerbie, Sarah Stewart from Wigtown, Pamela Grace from Kirkpatrick Durham and Emma Varley from Dumfries.
Dawn Henderby, Gracefield Art Officer said the gallery is delighted to welcome the group a second time. She said: “It is wonderful to support the art of printmaking – there are a lot of technical skills required by the makers and original prints have a distinct hand-made quality, with the subtleties of ink application or pressure of the press creating a unique artwork.
“Prints can be bought ‘off the wall’ and from the print browsers – the ideal opportunity to buy a thoughtful original present made to last.
“This year we also hope to include a selection of artist hand-printed Christmas and greeting cards, printed fabric such as tea towels, tote bags and other hand printed items such as ceramics, tree decorations, bookmarks – the ideal stocking fillers.”
SWSP had high hopes when it launched – planning to bring printmakers together and to promote the growing number of people in the region making exciting original hand printed work using such techniques as etching, linocut and screenprint.
Their plans were thrown into disarray by the pandemic but the group managed to keep in touch by Zoom and prepare for better days.
Colin Blanchard said: “It has been an interesting year or so for art. So many people all over the country turned to original visual creativity in the lost months.
“But one of the main reasons we formed SWSP was for people interested in making prints to get together and practise and exchange technical skills and knowledge of what is quite a physical activity, often requiring special equipment. Understandably we found that Zoom meetings could not meet that aim.
“We have a small print workshop at Gracefield and one of our aims is to see that flourish and expand.
“Despite the long delay we now look forward to staging talks and demonstrations; from induction and introduction for beginners to masterclasses for more established printmakers.
“And, of course, one of our biggest ambitions is to make the public aware of the wonderful original printmaking that’s taking place in our area. This exhibition gets us back on the road – we look forward to welcoming visitors to this event, and to organising many more in the future.”