Gainsborugh’s House Print workshop exhibition

November – December 2015

Gainsborough’s House print workshop (where I have just completed a printmaking course) hold an annual exhibition and sale in Bury St Edmunds. Exhibiting is open to all members of the workshop, so some by professional artists, some by tutors and some by students. I was interested to see the range of work, so went along. There were a couple of artists who particularly caught me eye.

The first was Emma Buckmaster. Emma studied Printmaking at Cambridge School of Art and was until recently, joint chair of Gainsborough’s House Printmakers.

I particularly like Emma’s etching Spider I. I have no idea how she created the image. The spider is so delicate that it almost looks as if it has been caught between two pages of a book. The detail of hairs on the legs is amazing. The composition, with the foliage to the right creates the feeling of a ‘frame’ from which the spider is suspended. I like the the background marks behind the spider, and also how a dark shadow hangs over the top left. This helps to frame the spider in the centre, and also creates a sense of mystery by causing the viewer to question what is casting the shadow.

Second, I really liked Kit Leese‘s etching of Blakeney Creek. Kit has been a professional artist for over 40 years and looking at his website I can see that he has made many more beautiful tonal etchings of the East Anglian countryside. His style, and the subject of tidal estuaries are particularly suited to etching. His prints really capture the beauty of the scenery with subtleties of tone used to describe different quality of material (e.g. mud, grassland, wooden stakes), and variable reflections of light hitting these surfaces.

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