Sunday, 29 January 2012
This is my first blog post in more than two years, and I have rather a lot of news and developments to share. So I thought I'd keep things simple and start by sharing some photos of St Barnabas Press in Cambridge, where I now have a small studio. I've been here for the past 8 months. I'm fully settled in and LOVING every minute of it! No more working from home for me...
St Barnabas Press is a rare and magnificent fine art printmaking workshop on the edge of the City, owned and run by the rather special Mr James Hill - Master Printer, and his artist wife Aimin. They're ably assisted by Mrs Fiona Thomas - silkscreen & etching genius, and an artist in her own right.
The workshop is crammed full of presses, ancient & modern for most kinds of printmaking including Etching, Stone Lithography, Relief and silkscreen. There's also a digital suite with large format Epson and Canon printers. There's also a very busy framing dept run by Mr George Hill, Cambridge's finest picture framer & jungle / reggae DJ!!
There are about 14 artists (including me) who rent studio space at the Press. It's also an open access facility which makes it a bustling hive of creative goings on most of the time. Most of the resident artists integrate some form of printmaking in their work, but there are also sculptors, ceramicists, painters, illustrators and such like. There are also frequent courses in printmaking and other creative disciplines running, so there's often a very bustling atmosphere. Very refreshing after almost 10 years of solitary confinement in my home studio!!
Aimin also runs an initiative called Art China, which specializes in creating and maintaining links with printmakers and other artists in China. There are frequent exhibitions in the gallery upstairs at St Barnabas, and visiting artists often give demonstrations and run workshops.
Apart from teaching, managing the place, hanging shows, mending stuff, tidying up, fixing network issues, being perpetually asked technical questions by everyone, and running around like a headless chicken... James' specialist area of expertise is in editioning prints for other professional artists. So when does he find any time at all to produce his own work? Well, it wouldn't be unusual for the lights to be on in the press at 4am, James up to his elbows in sticky ink and levitating an inch above the ground due to the powerful coffee which fuels him. To say he's 'driven' would be an understatement!
If you happen to be in the Cambridge area, please feel free to drop by and see what's going on. Alternatively check out the website for more info...
St Barnabas Press, Belfast Yard, Coldhams Rd, Cambridge CB1 3EW tel. 01223 413792