News, happenings and goings on from the Old Fire Station, Oxford
With only a week left, here’s why you shouldn’t miss this month’s Pop Up Print Shop
Amongst the glut of tatty Christmas pop-up shops that tend to nestle in our cities around this time of year, a positively classy array of inspiration has found a home at the Old Fire Station Gallery space. If you pop in to the pop up, plonk yourself in the centre of the room, and cast your gaze about you, stories and humour enmesh with serious artistic talent to create a vibrant display both comforting and thought-provoking. What’s more, from around £20, you can take home a unique, heartfelt print by one of twelve artists (more on them below!), each with their own brand of charm and insight, or pass on a handcrafted snippet of narrative to a friend or relative.Printing has seen something of a revival in recent years, energised by the new fascination with all things retro and vintage. It would seem that, during a time when most of the images we see are on a screen, there is still something rather marvellous in having a clear printed image, framed in front of us. Far from staying lodged in the past however, the Pop Up Print Shop is all vitality, brightness and innovation.
The twelve artists on display use a multitude of printing techniques, ensuring that the images stand out from each-other whilst also inviting the viewer to compare and contrast. There is a heady mixture of light-hearted humour, friendliness and simultaneous artistic integrity on display which will ensure that any visitor will find something to enthuse them. The screen-prints of Charlotte Farmer, a Central St Martins graduate, provide a quirky, characterful shine where wonderfully energetic cats and other creatures converse visually and aurally. Theo Peters, who also creates artwork for musicians, displays some charming linocuts which invite us to consider the relationship between people and animals, demonstrated by his ‘Ribcage’ prints and culminating in the especially dazzling ‘The Wilds’. Animals are also the focus of Sarah Lacey’s Highland-inspired silkscreen prints, in which mythic creatures of the North are positioned alongside vast expanses of snowy whiteness. The cunningly detailed dry-point etchings of the young Estonian Gerti Paavel display the humble tortoise in all its glory, and the proud stag displays himself in the bright papery experiments of Miesje Chafer. Sweet blue birds chirrup from the patterns of Roz Woodman’s classic defined prints.
Sophie Lamb uses gold-leaf to tantalisingly enliven her dry-point etching, which is an emotional exploration of the movements of the human body. Sarah Hoyle implements an imaginative narrative into her line drawn screen-prints which conjure an eclectic mix of people.
Alex Hackett’s photographic transfers invite the viewer into a somewhat more sombre emotional space, with large borders isolating her dark images. Decaying urbanity also seeps into the work of John J Lynch, whose use of Woodcuts embellishes his work with deep recesses. And Elizabeth Lake’s work succeeds in its daringly abstract nature, in which her Mono-Print technique perfectly suits her material experimentation.
You can see more work by the artists by visiting their respective online spaces listed below. But, in the meantime, head over to the Old Fire Station Gallery and immerse yourself in the properly top ‘Pop Up Print Shop’.
Miesje Chafer – http://www.miesjechafer.com
Alex Hackett – http://www.alexhackett.wix.com/portfolio
Theo Peters – http://www.tpetersart.wordpress.com
Sarah Lacey – http://www.sarahlaceyillustrates.blogspot.co.uk
Sarah Hoyle – http://www.sarahhoyle.co.uk
Charlotte Farmer – http://www.charlotte-farmer.co.uk
Roz Woodman – http://www.rozwoodman.com
John J Lynch – http://www.jjlynch.org
Elizabeth Lake – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sophie Lamb – http://www.roastpigeon.tumblr.com
Blog post written by wonderful volunteer Sam Stensland.