Under Pressure: an exhibition of printmaking by staff at UWE (5 March 2020) Bristol

Featuring the work of fifteen UWE Bristol and Centre for Fine Print Research staff, the Under Pressure exhibition gives an insight into modern printmaking at the University of the West of England. The opening exhibition viewing took place at UWE Bower Ashton Campus Gallery on 5 March, with guests invited to view the prints whilst enjoying an RGB or CMYK colour themed refreshment. It will now head to Trowbridge Townhill Arts where it can be seen from 25 March to 22 April, with the closing party on Friday 17 April, 6.30-8.30pm.

Exhibiting Artists: Phil Bowden, Frea Buckler, Arthur Buxton, Ian Chamberlain, Dave Fortune, Gillian Garnica, Ben Goodman, Jemma Gunning, Walter Guy, Rebecca Hill, Susanne Klein, Damien Leech, Frank Menger, Carinna Parraman and David Sully.

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According to The New Oxford Shorter English Dictionary print is ‘an impressed mark or image’. Print cannot exist without pressure. Letter press, the cradle of modern printing, even has the word press, pressure in it. Whether it is an ink jet droplet hitting a substrate, a sublimation print attached to a t-shirt, an etching transferred to paper or ink squeezed through a screen, pressure is always the main force which brings the image into contact with its final destination (how it then sticks is a completely different topic and hotly debated).
But those are not the only pressures we, as print makers, are exposed to. When we stand at the printing press, it is our relief from the pressures in our lives, from: instructing students, lecturing, hitting deadlines, marking, looking after children, looking after parents, attending conferences, juggling several jobs and managing life in general. The rhythm of the printing process gives us the space and structure to practice the zen of creativity, to push ourselves and the tools we have to the limits of what is possible. Whether it is with the perfection of traditional techniques or with the creation of new ones, we wish to impress with the beauty of the result and leave an impression on the audience. In doing so we expose ourselves to the pressure of reproducing the same high quality again and again. Printing is a harsh master we have to show respect for and apply perseverance in.

Words by Dr Susanne Klein, CFPR Associate Professor

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