Since Leeds Print Festival began in 2011 it has really been a collaborative process at every stage, which is something that has enabled it to grow over the past few years.
We wanted to engage with the printmaking we have regionally, showcasing individuals who are printing on reclaimed presses that are set up in their garage as well as the studios and workshops that are challenging what print can do by introducing new technologies to traditional methods.
Our community continues to expand with each year and we now work with printmakers both nationally and internationally, which means we can show print on a much boarder spectrum and give us new ideas and ways of printing.
The following pages feature a selection of prints by studios, collectives and individuals who have taken part in the Festival and showcase a range of prinmaking processes and techniques.
Although we continue to grow, this year we adopted an in-house approach and kept all the design and production within Yorkshire. Leeds itself has changed in recent years with many independent studios, events and spaces opening and we have benefited greatly from being part of that community.
On a personal note my highlight of the festival is the collaboration we have with The Print Project. Meeting during the planning stages of the first LPF and working together ever since they have really driven and changed the way we look at printing. It means for us, other than being amazing, that we don’t know what will happen next Leeds Print Festival either …
Director, Leeds Print Festival
Amber Smith runs Leeds Print Festival along with Dutch Holland. She is the programme leader for Graphic Design at Leeds College of Art and an occasional Katy Perry fan. For more on Leeds Print Festival, see leedsprintfestival.com
The Print Project
Aiming to keep the skill and art of print alive through process, ink and paper, The Print Project work using salvaged, antique printing presses and centuries old type to produce thoughtful and inventive print making with modern day visual influences. theprintproject.co.uk
Working under the name The Futile Vignette, which he wishes was shorter and easier to spell, Mick Marston creates prints with bold blocks of perfected selected colour and fine crafted detail. Challenging subject matter is given a heightened impact by the screenprinting process. thefutilevignette.com
Using the process of linocut and working with fluorescent inks, Ben Denning produces large-scale prints not usually associated with linocut print making. While adding time to the production, this allows for a greater impact and a precision of image. theletterpress.co.uk
With prints that aim to unify the age-old sensibilities of wood-cut printmaking and the contemporary concerns of production, Jonathan Ashworth challenges preconceptions of woodcut with modern themes and imagery. jonathanashworth.com
Working with metal type and traditional print making methods introduced by Johannes Gutenberg, Nomad Press, which is run by Pat Randle, believe in the purity of a typeface. Inventive use of type setting allows for this expressive and progressive use of letterpress printmaking. nomadletterpress.blogspot.co.uk
Since 1971 Whittington Press have been using letterpress print for publication. Printing every weekend for a year their first book had an edition of five hundred and twenty five copies printed on a rare Columbian hand press. To date over two hundred titles have been printed. whittingtonpress.com
Using a process he refers to as Isotype printing, David Wolske prints using wooden block type. Elements of the type are masked and distorted to create expressive abstract compositions, which reveal the open grain of the unshellacked wood type. dwolske.com
Working in meticulous detail with great precision etching as a print process aligns with Nick Owen’s sensibilities as an image maker. The plates are produced over extended periods of time, with reprint after reprint in order to achieve the desired resulted. The process carrying as much weight as the final print.
As an illustrator and image-maker with a focus on collaging, Caroline Dunning favours the risograph as it is an immediate way of capturing the detail and textures created within her pieces. This printing process allows her work to be captured and distributed physically rather than relying on digital technologies for exposure. carolinerose.co.uk