NORTHERN FOOTPRINTS 2017
Northern Print, Ouseburn, Newcastle upon Tyne
Running until March 11
The small but perfectly-formed gallery at Northern Print is always a joy to visit. It feels welcoming, humming with the energy of artists in action. Alongside a changing exhibition programme, Northern Print is home to one of the best-equipped printmaking studios in the UK. Whether you’re a professional artist, enthusiastic amateur, or complete novice, the studio offers technical support and classes to help you realise your vision.
The building itself sits half-way up Stepney Bank in Ouseburn, along the street from The Cluny and down the road from Ernest, two other ‘must-visit’ venues for culture-vultures coming to Newcastle. Inside, the space divides into gallery, shop and studios, meaning there’s something different and exciting to see on every visit.
As well as showing internationally known artists, Northern Print are keen to promote the work of their members throughout their exhibition programme. Now in its tenth year, the annual ‘Northern Footprints’ exhibition invites studio users to submit prints measuring exactly 12 inches square (hence ‘footprints’, geddit?!). Artists are encouraged to work in any media, from screenprints and woodblocks to etchings and linocuts, making the show a great introduction to printmaking for anyone unfamiliar with the techniques.
Five of the most interesting works on show are awarded prizes sponsored by local businesses. This year’s winners include Margaret Adams, whose vivid screenprint ‘Light Scattering’ feels like looking into the sun on a hot summer day. The thick, rich colour appears to shift and pulsate across the surface of the print, with bright orange and pink circles slipping in and out of focus. The intensity is matched by the deep Northern sky in Val Fitzgerald’s monoprint. Sweeping marks fly across the atmosphere of dark ultramarine, pummelling the solid rocks below.
The show a great place to start or grow a collection, and at the same time support some fantastic local artists. All of the work in the exhibition is available for sale, and Northern Print also offer the Own Art scheme, making acquiring a new picture is even more affordable.