Feb 21 2014
Museums Sheffield’s Exhibition & Displays Curator, Alison Morton on the Millennium Gallery exhibition celebrating Sheffield’s printmaking talent.
From the outset, our aim for Printing Sheffield was to create a showcase which really celebrated the incredible quality and diversity of printmaking in the city today.
It’s been fantastic to explore the huge network of printmakers currently at work locally. We’ve enjoyed collaborating with a number of Sheffield-based printmakers over the past few years, including Kid Acne, James Green, Paul Morrison and Phlegm, but it’s been wonderful to discover so many more of the talented artists who are contributing to the printmaking renaissance taking place in the city. Whilst researching the exhibition I received lots of great suggestions of printmakers we could include. In particular, I’m very grateful to Mir Jansen at Yorkshire Artspace, Rupert Wood from APG Gallery and Peter York for putting me in touch with many of the artists you can see featured in the show.
Bringing this exhibition together really has been a joy. The printmakers featured in the exhibition are fantastic, inspiring bunch – not only are they organised and entrepreneurial individuals who each have their own unique, instinctive approach to then medium, but they’re hugely supportive of each other. I think this collaborative spirit they share is one of the key reasons the current printmaking scene in Sheffield is so successful and so vibrant.
I’m really pleased that the exhibition has afforded us a wonderful opportunity to explore the sheer breadth of approaches to the medium. In the gallery you’ll find films featuring Kid Acne, Florence Blanchard, Neil Woodall and James Green, each talking about their individual processes and what inspires them in their work. It’s also been great that so many of the artists have found the time to make new work especially for exhibition, from Jo Peel’s Parkhill Flats to Samantha Groom’s wonderful hand printed birds to name just a few.
And the really wonderful thing about print is that it’s so accessible; prints are the perfect way for people to affordably bring art into their homes. It’s brilliant to host an exhibition where visitors can actually own the artwork themselves – and support the city’s home-grown talent at the same time!
Printing Sheffield continues at the Millennium Gallery until 15 June 2014 - entry to the exhibition is free.
Top - Jonathan Wilkinson, Into the Valley © the artist
Right - Piers Williams, Iris (screenprint) © the artist