Making Your Mark - A Scottish Printmaking Heritage Outreach Project
Making Your Mark aimed to engage new audiences and strengthen links with local communities by developing opportunities for people to participate and experience fine art printmaking. With support from the William Grant Fund, Year 2 of the project explored ways to use the Archive with new groups in a range of activities, while raising awareness of the GPS Archive.
Open Day Event
The project was launched in March at a 'Discover Print' Open Day. Over 60 people attended the event held at GPS. 8 artist members took part delivering drop in workshops in the gallery and meeting visitors in Behind the Scenes: Meet the Printmakers Workshop Demonstrations. Our Archive Curator led Archive Room sessions giving people a chance to find out about our unique Archive of fine art prints collected over the last 5 decades.
Print & Process Exhibition at Kinning Park Complex
From May to July 2017, a selection of 14 prints from the Archive were exhibited at Kinning Park Complex, (KPC). Kinning Park Complex is an independent community centre in south Glasgow.
Project Artist, Lilian Ptáček was recruited and worked with Education Officer, Sarah Stewart and Archive Curator, Kerry Patterson to select works from the Archive. The selected works explored printmaking as an experimental tool, where process guided ideas and enabled artists to try new ways of expression and mark making. Presenting a variety of printing techniques including screenprinting, etching and woodcut. Each artwork was selected to demonstrate the variety of marks that can be captured with these processes.
Come See sessions were held by Project Artist Lilian Ptáček and Education Officer Sarah Stewart to give visitors to the centre an opportunity to hear more about the prints on show and printmaking processes.
Organisers at KPC commented how well the exhibition had been received by the users of the centre. One surprising event was a wedding which took place in the centre, the couple requested the exhibition remain in place throughout the wedding as they thought it was such an interesting and colourful backdrop to the event.
Storytelling Session at KPC
Drama artist, Clare Hume delivered a multi sensory storytelling session in response to the Print & Process Exhibition. Her piece explored print process, while emphasising the joy of being a community.
Clare create a story using movement, sound & touch to engage the children and explored the prints by encouraging the children to move around the exhibition creating dance moves relating to the works on show.
“It looks like a dinosaur!” Comment when young participant made his mark with the black ink.
“As I told the tale, some children related what I was saying to certain prints on the board. They weren't prompted to do so. It was lovely to see them make the connections on their own.”
Comment from Clare Hume
Pop Up Sessions at KPC
At free pop up print workshops in the centre, participants produced wood block prints to display during a Pan African Community Meal the community were hosting. Pop Up screenprinting workshops took place during the centre’s regular Social Sunday programme. Participants produced screenprinted panels which were later sewn together to create a celebration March On banner. The banner was used as part of a Parade march during an event commemorating 21years of Kinning Park Complex establishment.
Special thanks to Maria Mattsson & Henrietta Eagle-Wilsher for stitching and finishing the community banner.
Gal Gael Community 2
After an initial visit to Gal Gael’s facility in Govan we were very keen to work with the organisation and the community it supports. The nature of the work produced & taught at Gal Gael meant the obvious process for us to introduce the group to was relief printing.
Participants took a closer look at the Print & Process Exhibition in KPC before putting their woodwork skills to good use exploring relief printing. Two Pop up workshops took place in Gal Gael’s workshop and the third was delivered at Glasgow Print Studio. Individual woodblock prints were produced. A group piece was initiated and cut, ready to be printed on the large motorized press at GPS on the 3rd session. The aim was to produce a large piece that could be permanently exhibited.
One important element to the pop ups was to ensure the skills taught to the group and staff would be able to continue and be carried on and taught in house to future groups.
“I've always wanted to come in but was too nervous” Workshop participant
Gal Gael Group Piece - Team Work
Make Your Mark @GPS
Staff and volunteers from Gal Gael Trust attended a 2 day workshop taking a closer look at etchings from the Archive and responded by creating their own small etching edition. Using the workshop facilities the group learned how to prepare and transfer images onto plates, ink & print on the professional Rochat presses.
Lovely peaceful environment, good people, very welcoming. I enjoyed the chance to produce work very quickly & see results immediately” Workshop participant
Practical sessions throughout the project were delivered by project artist Lilian Ptáček and supported by GPS Staff, Sarah Stewart, Claire Forsyth, Ian McNicol and Meg Held.
Making Your Mark SHOWCASE II @Trongate 103
It was important to provide an opportunity to showcase the work produced throughout the project and invite participants to celebrate and share their new skills and prints in a Showcase exhibition within Trongate 103.
Featured on our First Thursday event, we welcomed over 60% of the participants to the opening night.
“It was apparent from the Making your Mark exhibition at Trongate 103 that we had engaged a captivated audience at Gal Gael, they were clearly proud to see their finished works in a gallery setting and fed back that the workshops had been a positive experience and that they wanted more opportunities to work with GPS.” Comment from Lilian Ptáček, Project Artist.
“While Year 2 of Making Your Mark followed a similar structure to Yr 1, it was important to remain flexible and responsive to the community groups that we were engaging with. It was exciting to meet and work with new people who had no or little experience of printmaking. It was evident from the standard of work produced that the printmaking bug was caught by many of the participants who took the time to join in, engage and share positive creative experiences with us. New working relationships with organisations have developed and there is a genuine desire to continue working together in the future.”
Sarah Stewart Education Officer
Making Your Mark aims to introduce new audiences to the wealth of Scottish printmaking heritage, through exhibitions, storytelling, discussion & practical hands on sessions. In partnership with Glasgow Life and with support from The William Grant Foundation, Year 1 of the project aimed to explore ways to use the Archive in engaging activities and raise awareness of the Glasgow Print Studio Archive.
Making Your Mark Exhibition at Partick Library
“Brilliant exhibition in a great space, would be nice to see more of the Print Studio’s incredible output! The additional info supplied is fascinating!” Comment from library visitor.
From March to June 2016, a selection of 13 prints from the Archive were exhibited at Partick Library. Project Artist, Rachel Duckhouse worked with Education Officer, Sarah Stewart and Archive Curator, Kerry Patterson to select works from the Archive. The general theme for the show began as ‘posters’.
The Archive has a collection of posters which were printed on site right from its early years. Some of these were commercial jobs and helped to fund the organisation to enable it to offer facilities to artists. More broadly, the exhibition took the style of posters as a familiar medium for both commercial and personal expression, employing a visual language that is accessible to all.
The activities kicked off with a multi sensory storytelling session in Partick Library by Drama artist, Clare Hume. Inspired by the prints on show, Clare created a magical story,incorporating movement, sound & touch. By creating imaginary characters she brought the works to life and explored the magic of the creative process with a printmaking focus.
“Fantastic way of telling the story and keeping everyone involved.” Comment from parent.
Come See sessions were held by Project Artist, Rachel Duckhouse and Education Officer, Sarah Stewart to give the public an opportunity to hear more about the archive works on show and printmaking processes.
A lovely group of ladies from the Annexe, Connects2 Project in Partick took a closer look at the Making Your Mark exhibition before the practical session began in the local community centre. A group of adults who signed up for our free print workshops also took time out to be inspired by the exhibition.
Local historic events, Glasgow landmarks and the changing development of the telephone exchange system were some of the topics inspired by the posters on show.
“Its marvellous,.. complex and beautiful prints, before this session I was assuming they were paint.” Comment from visitor to Come See Session.
St Peter’s Church Hall in Partick was the venue for our free pop up print workshops. Images, signs and lettering were exposed onto screens as a starting point and the children were asked to design their own posters using the screens provided. Each child produced individual and personalised posters to take home.
Professional printmaker, Rosalind Lawless worked with Rachel to deliver the printing activities and provide technical expertise.
“Thank you so much for a brilliant workshop. The kids loved it!” Comment from parent.
The pop up sessions for adults ran over 3 weeks, the first 2 sessions were held in the local church hall in Partick, and the third concluded in the Learning Zone at Glasgow Print Studio. The group used hand cut stencils to produce 3 & 4 colour screenprints inspired by the idea of Posters.
“Running the workshop over 3 weeks means that you can really learn from your mistakes/successes and use it in the next session”
“Being able to run one of the weeks in GPS was really great and a nice way to round of the workshop”
Comments from participants.
A special 3 week session was scheduled with the Connect2 project in Partick. A Community group for people age 60+ aimed to improve physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Inspired by the activities of the group who meet weekly to knit and natter , the group decided to produce a group poster using hand cut stencils. Each person chose a letter to design and print inspired by the little hand puppets that are knitted and sent to families around the world including Syria, Nepal, Malawi and Tanzania.
Make Your Mark @ GPS
A second group, The Variety Club, from The Annexe community centre signed up for a 2 day workshop taking a closer look at prints from the Archive and responded to them by creating their own small screenprinted edition. Using the professional workshop the group learned from Rosalind & Rachel, how to prepare separations, expose screens and print on the professional Kippax benches.
A sense of achievement was definitely in the air by the end of day 2.
“Its all been great. Making a ‘proper’ print. Learning skills from the best teachers. Watching others learning and learning from them too” Workshop participant
Making Your Mark SHOWCASE Exhibition @Trongate 103
While a key aim of the project was to engage new audiences and strengthen links with local communities by developing opportunities for people to participate and explore creative means of expression through fine art printmaking. It was important to provide an opportunity to showcase the work that was produced throughout the project and invite participants to celebrate and share their new skills and prints in a Showcase exhibition within Trongate 103. Featured on our First Thursday event, we welcomed over 8o% of the participants to the opening night which included an Archive Room : Come See event, which gave visitors a behind the scenes look at the Archive Room.
“Thanks again for last night. They had a great time and are still talking about it today. The whole Making your Mark project has been a great experience for everyone involved, they have loved every moment of it and are well chuffed with their masterpieces. Thanks again, it has all been much appreciated.” Connexe 2 Programme Manager
Project Artist Rachel Duckhouse explains how she felt about her involvement in Making Your Mark
“It was fantastic spending time with the archive, there are so many prints I'd never seen before. It gives a real insight into how GPS has developed over the decades, in terms of visiting artists' and members' work and the technical processes employed.
Sharing all this with the different groups we worked with was a real treat - seeing how differently they responded to the selected works, and helping them produce some really original and unique prints, both in Partick and here in the workshop. I learnt a lot from watching them. Thank you Partick!
Following a focus session in Partick Library at the end of the project , an additional element was suggested. To host an exhibition of the prints that were made during the workshops back into Partick Library. This idea was in our original plan and wonderful that the community involved felt this would be an ideal way to complete the full process. Work is currently underway to arrange a date and install the work within Partick Library. Watch this space for updates. Plans for Year 2 are currently in development .
“Year One of Making Your Mark has exceeded my expectations, made extra special by the people who came along to take part with commitment, enthusiasm and an openness to learning new things. I am excited to see what can be achieved and who we can introduce to printmaking in Year 2.”
Sarah Stewart Education Officer