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STICKY FINGERS @OrielQ Gallery, Narberth

‘Sticky Fingers’ Is the latest exhibition now showing at Oriel Q in Narberth. Painter and printmaker Carole King is curator for this show of eighty prints. It is a show of original printwork ranging from etchings, through monotype and collagraph to serigraphs, from artists across Wales. Carole is not new to the business of show curating; she has arranged several solo shows, has co-curated the arts and fine crafts shows arranged by ‘the Square Pegs’ and two surveys of Welsh drawing entitled ‘Lines and Strata’.

So where does her interest in printmaking come from?

“I was introduced to silkscreen printing at teacher training college in Cambridge. I produced a series of images based on curtains blowing in the breeze. The process seemed quite magical to me. ” Like so many artists, that first experience developed into a love affair with inky processes.

“I began by working on a kitchen table, designing and printing the family Christmas card. I now have a dedicated space housing a screenprinting bed [purchased through Ebay from Wakefield college of Art], and a portable roller etching press suitable for producing relief prints, monotypes, drypoints and collagraphs.”

West Wales is proving to be a hotbed of print activity. To the North, Aberystwyth Printmakers are

based in dedicated out of town facilities near Bow Street, while Swansea Printmakers occupy premises near the city centre. Walden Arts in Cardigan offer workshops in printmaking.

Carole too is herself a resource for would-be printmakers. She has taught a variety of printmaking techniques through a series of workshops; in Surrey, at her studio in Newcastle Emlyn and at Oriel Q. “It is always a pleasure to see the sheer joy on a student’s face when a successful print has emerged from between press rollers. I feel I can share in their achievement at that moment.”

She is also a bookbinder. For her, printmaking is integral to that activity too. “I design my own covers and print them on a silkscreen bed in my studio. I employ my printmaking skills to produce the covers, printing my own designs. The bookbinding grew out of a need to make sketchbooks at college, where I used prints which were not of exhibitable standard [her quality control, level is set to ‘high’].” Now the books [blank sketchbooks, notebooks, wedding photograph albums, address books] are for sale to the general public, each with their own hand printed cover papers.

Perhaps the title of the show is a little misleading, as digital prints are produced through clean means on a computer or tablet in conjunction with a printer [unless of course there is a problem when replacing a leaky ink cartridge!] “There is great potential with digital printing and I was happy to accept digital submissions as long as they were originally generated on the computer and not simply an enhanced reproduction of an existing piece of artwork from another medium.”

Though for now, the bulk of artwork on display utilises media and techniques which would have been familiar to Durer, Rembrandt and Hokusai. Scratching, gouging and biting into surfaces with acid. There is something satisfyingly timeless to the activity, though the products of these endeavours are resolutely contemporary as the methods keep evolving. Come and take a look; surface interest, technical prowess, vibrant colour and across all subject matter there really is something for everyone -whether they themselves have sticky fingers or not…

Sticky Fingers

now on to 10th September; Weds-Sat 10am - 4pm for full details


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