Newcastle Printmakers Workshop
I visited the Newcastle Printmakers Workshop in the late afternoon of Friday 13th Feb after a long-ish but very scenic drive from Coffs Harbour. The workshop is situated opposite parklands in a lovely tree-lined street in a residential suburb of Newcastle. The building is newly refurbished after a significant grant gained in 2013 (and, for the moment, you can see the old building on Google maps street view which only serves to underline how well the external renovations were undertaken),
complete with the group’s new logo on the street facing wall.
I was fortunate that three members wanted to meet with me – Gina McDonald, Amanda Donohue and Helene Leane – but when we all arrived, Robyn Culley, another member, was working on one of her own prints for a forthcoming show. Below are pictured Amanda, Robyn, Gina and Helene:
standing over a couple of Robyn’s proofs, which we’d all been discussing earlier. They were for a show all are involved with, one in which members have visited a local vineyard and produced work based on their impressions. The NPW blog has an entry on this here. Here Helene examines prints by another member in the drying rack for the same show:
The walls are filled with works by members from earlier shows.
I was shown around the premises and the NPW facilities. They have a couple of etching presses and a lithography one along with the usual baths etc:
The facilities are better described on their website here.
The group sell their prints at a stall at a local bazaar, which I thought a good idea; here the banner with the new logo they’d printed for this stall can be seen in front of the group’s library:
I was given a copy of the NPW’s book about the 35 years of operating as an open access printmaking workshop: this will take pride of place in the Leicester Print Workshop’s library along with others I’ve been given on my journey.
We spent a long time talking about how such workshops can keep going, how to raise and seek out funding, and how the creative enterprise can be maintained. I’m pretty sure that it is only by all of us sharing our experiences that we can help each other to keep going.
I’d like to thank Gina, Amanda, Helene and Robyn for making me welcome (and later over tea with Helene and Gina in Helene’s lovely home). I had a great time and the visit has prompted me to try to think of ways that open access studios might collaborate more.