Behind the Scenes at the V&A & London Wooliwich Contemporary Print Fair Trip Highlights

We had a brilliant time on our Member’s trip to London! First stop was the V&A, where we spent the morning taking in the South Asian, Islamic Middle East, China and Japan rooms, admiring the beautiful ceramics, intricate patterned carpets and Japanese woodblock prints. After a tasty lunch in the garden cafe, we went up to the prints and drawing study room for an absolute treat of an afternoon – a talk from Zorian Clayton, one of the curators, who had delved into the archive and pulled out some prints for us to take a look at. The highlights were a box of Rembrandt etchings, (400 years old and still looking as fresh as when they were first printed!), a box of engravings by Albrecht Durer, a lithograph by Paul Nash, a Walter Crane wallpaper piece, and great to also see a couple of contemporary pieces by Sumi Perera and Anne Desmet. It was a fascinating experience to see such beautiful prints up-close – being able to spend time really looking closely and discussing the techniques used (yes – we got geeky!)
The following day was the Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair, which represents independent artists directly within a curated exhibition, and gives emerging creatives a spotlight to be discovered, exhibiting alongside some of the most prominent international printmakers & specialist dealers today. We were proud to say that two of our members were showing work in the curated hang at the fair – Neil MacKinder and our Technician Kathryn Desforges. It was a great atmosphere, with plenty of talks and print demonstrations. (We loved the teeny-tiny printing press made by the Open Press Project It was so inspiring to see work by contemporary printmakers working with etching, lithography, screen print, linocut, woodcut and anything in-between, and to see artists pushing the boundaries of print through 3-d and installation work. (We loved Tracy Hill’s work – a piece which uses Graphene ink which conducts electricity!). We all came away brimming with ideas and inspiration, (if a little weary!)
We’re keen to do another trip soon after the success of this one, so for those of you who couldn’t make it this time – watch this space!