PROFESSOR CHRIS ORR CBE RA
PRINTMAKING IN SCHOOLS
YOUNG ART 2018 “FEELINGS”
Making prints can be both enjoyable and valuable and can play a significant part in Art Education. It is rewardingbecause making prints involves learning practical skills towards expressing ideas and feelings. It is problem solving allied to emotional content. Many of the greatest artists have made prints from Hokusai through Rembrandt to David Hockney. The list is very extensive in all cultures. Printmaking is important in India, South America and of course China and Japan.
The 2018 theme “Feelings” is very appropriate for printmaking, because the tactile and visceral qualities of ink, colour and drawing can respond to the subjective as well as the objective.
What is an original print as opposed to a reproduction? To me, any medium that the artist intends and controls for the purposes of an idea is valid. For the Young Art competition 2018 I suggest that prints are confined to autographic methods (made directly by the artist) as opposed to digital and photographic processes which could be a future category.
Some schools are lucky enough to have sophisticated printmaking facilities up to professional standards, but the essence of original printmaking is equally found in simple methods. Paper shapes, wood cutting, stencil, frottage and dry point on plastic can yield fabulous results and there are many ways to print as yet to be developed! Simplicity can be a virtue, and no School should say that they don’t have the resources.