The Small Print show comes to Gisborne

Hold the press: Printers roll call

Hold the press: Printers roll call

THE PRINTMAKER’S ART: Gisborne Printmakers group members Irene (left) Norman Maclean, Amber Graham, Phyllis Underdown, Judy Lemaistre Smith and Jean Johnston look forward to the touring Small Print exhibition’s first stop from tomorrow. at Lysnar House. Picture by Mark Peters


THE PRINTMAKER’S ART: Recently appointed a life member of the Gisborne Artists Society, Jean Johnson is pleased with the results of a work freshly rolled out of the Gisborne Printmakers’ press.
Picture supplied

From washing machine mangle to an Italian-made Bendina, Gisborne Printmakers’ printmaking machines have evolved while the process remains essentially unchanged over the centuries.

“With this press the pressure pushes ink from the plate into damp paper,” says the group’s founder member Jean Johnston.

“The process has been the same since Judah,” says Norman Maclean.

The artists are two of six Gisborne printmakers whose work is part of The Small Print show that will tour New Zealand and opens in Gisborne tomorrow.

Print Council Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ) invited printmakers from around the country to submit up to six works on A4 paper for the show. The standardised format gives the exhibition its name.

“I was thrilled to receive 278 prints from 58 printmakers,” says show organiser Anna Nelson.

“It is an unselected exhibition that encourages all members who perhaps don’t make large works, or are nervous of entering a selected exhibition, or new to PCANZ. It suits smaller venues and gives a wider exposure to print as an art form.”

When the Gisborne Small Print show ends the exhibition will go to Napier, then Tauranga, Wellington, Te Awamutu, Christchurch and possibly to Nelson and Auckland in 2019. From February to April next year the works will be exhibited in Taupo.

Buyers take the prints once purchased and the rest move on to the next venue.

Gisborne Printmakers have traditionally specialised in zinc-plate etching, a preference of group founder Penny Ormerod, who started the collective in 1976. The Small Print exhibition, though, includes works created from printmaking methods such as woodcut, solar plate, monoprint, aquatint, drypoint, etching and collagraph.

Johnston, a zinc plate and collagraph specialist, coordinated Gisborne Printmakers’ involvement with the PCANZ exhibition. As a practitioner and instructor in the ancient art of printmaking, Johnston has introduced several newcomers to its processes. In recent years she has taken over running the group and earlier this year was appointed a life member of the Gisborne Artists Society.

Gisborne Printmakers meet at Lysnar House Studio every second Sunday of the month. The group bought the Bendina printer from another printmaker in 1980. Before the upgrade, Maclean would go to Lytton High School once a month to take the art room press to Lysnar House.

“Then Penny Ormerod said we have to get our own print press. We held an auction of prints from Wellington and prints done by locals to raise money.”

The Small Print exhibition will be held at Lysnar House studio, Tairawhiti Museum, May 11-13.

From washing machine mangle to an Italian-made Bendina, Gisborne Printmakers’ printmaking machines have evolved while the process remains essentially unchanged over the centuries.

“With this press the pressure pushes ink from the plate into damp paper,” says the group’s founder member Jean Johnston.

“The process has been the same since Judah,” says Norman Maclean.

The artists are two of six Gisborne printmakers whose work is part of The Small Print show that will tour New Zealand and opens in Gisborne tomorrow.

Print Council Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ) invited printmakers from around the country to submit up to six works on A4 paper for the show. The standardised format gives the exhibition its name.

“I was thrilled to receive 278 prints from 58 printmakers,” says show organiser Anna Nelson.

“It is an unselected exhibition that encourages all members who perhaps don’t make large works, or are nervous of entering a selected exhibition, or new to PCANZ. It suits smaller venues and gives a wider exposure to print as an art form.”

When the Gisborne Small Print show ends the exhibition will go to Napier, then Tauranga, Wellington, Te Awamutu, Christchurch and possibly to Nelson and Auckland in 2019. From February to April next year the works will be exhibited in Taupo.

Buyers take the prints once purchased and the rest move on to the next venue.

Gisborne Printmakers have traditionally specialised in zinc-plate etching, a preference of group founder Penny Ormerod, who started the collective in 1976. The Small Print exhibition, though, includes works created from printmaking methods such as woodcut, solar plate, monoprint, aquatint, drypoint, etching and collagraph.

Johnston, a zinc plate and collagraph specialist, coordinated Gisborne Printmakers’ involvement with the PCANZ exhibition. As a practitioner and instructor in the ancient art of printmaking, Johnston has introduced several newcomers to its processes. In recent years she has taken over running the group and earlier this year was appointed a life member of the Gisborne Artists Society.

Gisborne Printmakers meet at Lysnar House Studio every second Sunday of the month. The group bought the Bendina printer from another printmaker in 1980. Before the upgrade, Maclean would go to Lytton High School once a month to take the art room press to Lysnar House.

“Then Penny Ormerod said we have to get our own print press. We held an auction of prints from Wellington and prints done by locals to raise money.”

The Small Print exhibition will be held at Lysnar House studio, Tairawhiti Museum, May 11-13.

The Small Print show

Gisborne printmakers whose work features in The Small Print show are:

Jean Johnston

Norman Maclean

Judy Lemaistre Smith

David Andrew

Teressa Matthews

Amber Graham

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