‘Make Print Great Again’ brings together eight artists based in the North East of England, each of whom has an individual approach to the nature, techniques and possibilities of printmaking and its position within contemporary art. The exhibition has been curated by Nick Christie and Johnnyx.

Alfons Bytautas is a printmaker in an on-going collaboration with actor Jane Arnfield. Arnfield has been commissioned to devise and direct a site-specific performance piece, marking the 75th anniversary of the liquidation of the Litzmannstadt Ghetto in Lodz, Poland by the Nazis. The cyanotypes exhibited in this exhibition represent a visual dialogue between the two artists (reflecting on both past and present), with images being collaged together to form the basis of a series of blueprint banners to accompany the performance at significant places in the former ghetto in Lodz in August 2019.

Theresa Easton
is an artist with a socially engaged practice, who enjoys a collaborative approach to making artwork and developing ideas alongside participants. Printmaking provides a platform for Easton’s interpretation of social history and cultural commentary. Letterpress has become a regular feature in her work as a result of time spent at Robert Smail’s Printing Works in Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders.

…grafik 2.1
reflects upon the expressive and poetic qualities found within the subtle layering of the incidental trace, primarily using the process of serigraph, a highly labour-intensive silkscreen technique, and appropriating modes and styles of the street poster, propaganda and public information signage. While individual works can stand alone, there is a flow between works – appropriating the wall space and all of its indents and marks – to form connections and to instil narrative: to inform the discernible emotive trace.

Johnnyx
’s work is a response to the environment, politics, love, life and death. He references the ephemera of popular culture; found imagery is obfuscated and re-purposed/reworked into original screen prints. Works explore contemporary cultural themes, bringing a deconstructional lens to the systems of advertising, media, and commodification at work within contemporary life.

Erika Servin
’s work draws upon the historic relationship between Mexican politics and popular street posters with their cheapness, ease of reproduction and strong graphic possibilities. The prints exhibited in this exhibition represent the setting of a Pulquería, a once popular Mexican tavern, few of which remain today, where pulque, the traditional drink made from the maguey plant was consumed. Servin plays with the possibilities for print in an expanded contemporary context.

George William Stewart
takes inspiration from cultural imagery, both past and present, searching for a link between the two. He is a multidisciplinary artist who works predominately in printmaking, moving image and tattooing. His work has a large emphasis on pushing techniques and experimenting between disciplines.

Jade Sweeting is interested in archives and recycling found imagery, where process is a main element, alongside analogue techniques, from darkroom photography to printmaking. Sweeting’s key focus is to push the medium, placing a strong emphasis on intuition and skill as on DIY ethics and communal practice. Following her 2011 Graduate Fellowship at Northumbria University in printmaking, Sweeting co-founded and has been director of Pulled Print Club since 2013.

Lee Turner’s recent work came initially from a series of drawings exploring subtle stripes and colours. These were transcribed into a series of monotypes entitled, ‘Why stripes? Why not?’, continuing the exploration of line and colour: some blurred and atmospheric, others intermeshed as if a fabric pattern. Turner is owner and master printmaker at Hole Editions, specialising in stone lithography, where he printed his stripe monotypes.