Leonie Bradley, editor of Printmaking Today (PT) published by Cello Press Ltd, approached Axle Arts Director, Bridget Sterling to ask if she would be prepared to write an opinion piece for the magazine about the state of galleries in the current market with a focus on original print. She mentioned to Bridget that she had been shocked at the sudden closure of Bath Contemporary in autumn 2017, of which Bridget had been a director. The magazine has always been strongly associated with and supported by the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers (RE), one of the oldest fine art federations in England today.
A bit of background on Printmaking Today… it is a quarterly, journal style magazine, founded and first published by Rosemary Simmons in 1990. Simmons was an artist, graduating from Chelsea College of Art in the 1950s. She was passionate about the medium of print, particularly its importance in artistic practice, and dedicated herself over the years to the dissemination of information about print through teaching, writing and forming networks. As Director of Curwen Studios, she met and worked with many famous artists including Henry Moore, Elisabeth Frink, Barbara Hepworth and David Hockney. Simmons is quoted on PT’s website as saying:
“I started Printmaking Today in 1990 with help from the Henry Moore Foundation. My background as a printmaker, print gallery and lithographic studio director, teacher and writer gave me a broad understanding of the field. I wanted to provide a forum for printmakers, an exchange of practical information and to make a bridge between practitioners and collectors or curators. I wanted printmaking to be understood and appreciated for its unique qualities and to be taken seriously as an international art form.” [Rosemary Simmons]
Printmaking Today’s mission statement says, “We continue to comment on aesthetic, educational and theoretical matters as well as bringing the reader new developments in print technology and re-assessments of traditional methods. Many of our writers are printmakers and speak from experience. Others are art historians, publishers, educationalists and suppliers of materials and equipment. [source]
Bridget has always been a strong supporter of original print, with Axle Arts representing a high calibre of printmakers, most of whom are RE members. Aware of a number of gallery closures in and around Bath and Bristol over summer 2017, Bridget is interested in the emergence of a new ‘style’ of gallery currently, and with these two threads combined it was a pleasure to accept Leonie’s offer to write such a piece for PT. Here’s a link to the article: