Yesterday evening, we were able to open our boxes of 20:20 prints at Hot Bed Press. “It’s just like Christmas!” said one of the eager participants.
Each printer had produced editions of 25 prints, each 20 cm by 20 cm. Apart from the edition and substrate sizes, there were no restrictions. Screenprints, etchings, relief prints, colourful abstracts, black and white detailed engravings, they were all there. Each printer then receives a box containing one of their own prints and 19 random prints from other workshops.
The 20:20 Print Exchange started in 2009 with ten printers from Hot Bed in Salford and ten members of Red Hot Press in Southampton. The following year there were twelve workshops and this year, the fourth, there were 392 artists from 30 workshops. That’s 9,800 prints! It is the largest print exchange for printmaking studios in the UK and Ireland. (The 30 workshops did not include Swansea, but a sustained campaign by myself will ensure that Rosie Scribblah gets the crew down there involved next year.)
Each workshop also receives boxes. One print from each artist is also kept for a travelling exhibition. All these prints were hung on the walls last night and very impressive they were indeed! (Sorry for the poor quality of the photos. I was using available light in an area lit by random spot lights and fluorescent lights.)
After we’d looked at our boxes of prints, we had our Under the Bed Sale where we sell off ends of editions, odd prints, proofs – often with different colours as the artist tries different things – and other random work. It’s run on a pile-it-high-sell-it-cheap basis. I picked up some very nice pieces.
Meanwhile people could wander round this year’s exhibition.
No doubt you will be wanting a proper look at the prints. Thanks to Andy Magee’s many long hours with a scanner, they are all here on HBP’s flickr site, with my print (‘Coexist’ on Page 14). Definitely worth a look (all 42 pages!)