Printmaking: a Performative Art of Touch 

Clyde McGill and Tim Mosely

Please note submissions are now closed

During lockdown being in a community-based print room has been for many an experience of singularity, the absent conversations, the absent other work being made, now it is only ‘me’ amongst a dozen presses, all parts of us, though now still. Printing is a performative art, of feeling, holding, touching, including all the senses, through touch leads them in. An experience of performance, that includes the audience, an active viewer plus a reaching out artist. The equipment, press, paper and ink extend the utility of my hands. A performative action disfigured by social disruption of the pandemic. There is no difference between what a print talks about and how it is made.

“As I look at some of my recent prints, at the thumb marks and fingerprints, the smudges, the cutting and scraping, hammer indents and drawings, it makes me think of having my handheld, as a child and in recent times, and the emotional power, the grip, the extraordinary squeeze on my being, on my mental wellness. Points of my memory that give me solace, that strengthen my life”.

Prints are a mirror to these performances and the manoeuvres of touching that constitute printmaking. These reflections remind us of belonging; of the print to a plate, to the other prints pulled from the same plate, to the mould an imprint was cast from, to the other hands that have performed with us. It’s a belonging imprinted, impressed and represented through touch. And as a performance of touching printmaking is well placed to respond to Anni Albers call for artists to train their sensitivity to touch through studio practice, to generate works of art that draw out of writers a descriptive vocabulary engaging, our touch of texture, an emotive touch, and the haptic.

Please submit your proposals directly to this link by Friday 4 March 2022. Please include your name, affiliation, email address, a brief synopsis of your contribution to the debate (up to 300 words), a 100-word bio and an image of yourself.