Which day of the year involves weeks of preparation, lots of last minute rushing around and then eager people excitedly opening boxes to see the surprises within? What do you mean ‘Christmas’? I’m talking about 20:20 Print Exchange Launch Day!
Yes, it was that exciting day today. It was also called Black Friday, probably a comment on the most popular ink colour used by etchers. When the exchange was launched in 2009, there were two print studios involved, ourselves at Hot Bed Press in Salford and Red Hot Press in Southampton. This year there are forty studios, with 585 artists producing a grand total of 14,625 prints.
Apart from the printers having to belong to a print workshop, the only restrictions are that there are 25 prints in the edition and they measure 20 cm by 20 cm, and this year, as always, we’ve had a huge variety of images and techniques. Each printer receives a box containing one of their own prints and nineteen random prints (the other prints finishing up with the studios). Hence the excitement tonight as we all wanted to know what we’d got.
Here are half a dozen from my box:
This is the print with which I was particularly pleased. It is a Cellulose Print Transfer by Donna Dowd of neo:artists, in Bolton. I know Donna’s work from exhibitions at neo:gallery. She does a lot of work based on old family photographs.
This linocut on handmade paper is also by a neo:artist member, Maggie Hargreaves. I think that it was Maggie who, for an exhibition, had made a paper bowl each week for a year. Some included grass, others pulp from an old paperback novel, others strips of coloured paper. Each bowl was different. It was my favourite piece (pieces?) in the show.
‘Still Life’, a mezzotint by Joseph White of Northern Print
‘On the Train’, a linocut by Janet Sainsbury of Double Elephant PW
‘The Empty Chamber’, an etching and aquatint by Bill Hall of Art House, Wakefield
‘An Cailin (The Girl)’, a woodcut, collagraph and drypoint by Shane Crotty of Lorg Printmakers.
All the prints are on the Hot Bed Press Flickr site. Unfortunately I can’t currently use the link button to my blog posts, so the web address is http://www.flickr.com/photos/hot_bed_press/with/10838944314/
There will, no doubt, have been may other printers up and down the UK and Ireland opening their boxes today as well. Sadly this will not have included Rosie or anyone from Swansea! Here’s hoping that next year ….!
The other aspect of the evening was the Under the Bed Sale. I’ll probably tell you about that tomorrow!