Raspberry and I visited the first Tutton and Young Brighton Print Fair last weekend at PHOENIX (which seems to be an arts centre). In fact, it took two visits to really take it all in. We were just about the first people in on the first day (lovely and quiet) and it was a great surprise for me to be informed by Alice that we would, in fact, be staying overnight in Brighton, so we were able to visit on the Saturday too!
My impressions were that there was a high quality of work and the prints were definitely leaning towards art rather than craft. There was a great deal of variety including everything from very bold, stylised and simple prints, all the way up to complex multi colour screen prints with halftones and reduction linocuts.
I initially thought it was bad that the prints were displayed unframed and held up by magnets, just the naked print against white walls, but slowly realised it was the best way of doing it. It certainly felt more immediate than trying to take in a whole bunch of framed prints.
The quality of printing varied a fair bit which I also found surprising and quite heartening. Some highly expensive prints had obvious printing errors but I realised that it just didn’t seem to matter. I think I can get quite obsessive with perfect printing.
I tried to take in all the printing in its various forms, from bold artistic statements to more whimsical craft pieces and thought, “yes, maybe I could apply next year!”
Here are some of the prints which caught my eye. I love these screenprints (below) by Jane Fox, they are very inventive. I particularly like the mix of typography, halftones, solid colours and mark making which make them up.
On the following print, I especially like the way that Jane has used darker paper and used white as one of the colours in the print – very effective!
The following are prints by Jane Ormes. I love Jane’s work. She obviously spends a huge amount of time experimenting with mark making – either phsyically or digitally – before incorporating these marks as textures in her work. Jane also has such a great understanding of colour and selects brilliantly subtle hues which work together.
The following are prints by Jane Walker. We were both really captivated by the reduction printed linocuts – they are works of art and have the feeling of paintings with the layer upon layer of colour. Jane obviously has a really excellent eye for colour combinations too. With my own printmaking I am slowly learning just how hard it is to get colours right and how critical it is.
Liz Toole’s work is also lovely to see. Very stylised, she really likes to employ the cut lines of lino to great effect. I now know what Chine-Collé is and will definitely try it out myself!
We also came away with a couple of lovely prints. First this charming screenprint by Sarah Young, small and perfectly formed. I love the style of the illustration.
And second, this fantastic letterpress print by ASINTENDED.