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Drawn to Print

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Building new Relationships

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The project set agenda to explore new boundaries of current practice supporting the activity of drawing and the translation of this material into non traditional and traditional print processes associated with the production of an original print.

The relationship between a direct drawing process and printmaking is one of great creative potential and can support a wide variety of new approaches supported by new technologies and new materials.

The project enabled us to explore the breadth of the relationship between drawing and printmaking through three artists residencies each one illustrating an aspect / approach which will clearly demonstrate the close connection between gathering original [non photographic] material and the most direct processes of translation into print.

The project activities will also be a catalyst for exploring a creative approach to accessibility and exhibiting.  We staged a series of open studios at the end of each residency culminating in a pop-up exhibition in the centre of town.

This in turn will build new relationships and increase the reach of SPW’s current audience by not only engaging existing members in new techniques and approaches but also by identifying new strategies for attracting artists from other disciplines.


We wanted to provide an encouraging and supportive environment for anyone interested in drawing – to sample the extraordinary benefits of moving that initial drawing activity into print.

In particular we are providing starting points with very direct printing processes and concentrate on the wide range of mark making made possible through printmaking techniques. These workshops were suitable for those with no previous knowledge of printmaking or anyone who needed a refresher course or a re-vitalised approach to drawing for print.

Ros Ford ARE (Associate of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers) is a painter and printmaker based in Bristol, UK. She works from her studio and Spike Print Studio, Bristol. Ford’s recent work is about the urban landscapes near central

Bristol. In these she explores the unordered, the overlooked and side shows of life. She works in series and sequences, basing her practice on direct observation.

Ford is currently a director of Spike Print Studio, Bristol. She is committed to artist-led activities, co-founding the first arts trail in Bristol and co-ordinating and mentoring other local art events including HIDDEN IMPACT: Prints in the City as a part of IMPACT International print conference 2010.

She is a qualified Art and Design teacher and tutors courses and workshops in drawing and printmaking. Ford exhibits widely in group and solo exhibitions and undertakes commissions and residencies.

Her work is in public and private collections in the UK and overseas.


The Vetch study III| Photopolymer intaglio [two plates]|Edition of 30 printed on BFK Rives paper | 30x37.5cm

My recent work is about the urban landscape. The two month residency during May and June at Swansea Print Workshop gave me a unique opportunity to develop prints about a new location. I was interested in the Sandfields of Swansea and researched there in drawing, print and photographs for a large etching. I was intrigued and inspired by the dominant Swansea prison building and all it implies, juxtaposed with the old Vetch grounds and the 2012 social artwork Vetch Veg project. I liked the location, close to Swansea Print Workshop, parallel to Swansea Bay and with a good place to draw from the old Vetch. I could easily see the area from the hill above and from high buildings within Swansea. I liked Port Talbot being on the horizon in one direction and the Mumbles in the other. The residency gave me a wealth of images and ideas which I have beenworking on since. The Vetch, a large copperplate etching continues a series about buildings dominant in the landscape, yet often unnoticed.


The Vetch | Etching and Aquatint [two plates] | Edition of 20 printed on Hahnemule Etching Paper | 60x90cm

The residency also gave me the opportunity to make a series of experimental intaglio print studies using photopolymer intaglio, steel and collograph.I was privileged and thoroughly enjoyed being artist in residence atSwansea Print Workshop. My lasting memory will be of meeting and working alongside such a dedicated and enthusiastic group of staff, volunteers and artists at the workshop and the generosity and friendliness of Swansea.

Aoife Layton

Born in 1979, Aoife Layton is an Irish artist living and working in Cork City. A member of Cork Printmakers, she is currently engaged in developing her drawing and printmaking practice, working predominantly in mezzotint and mixed media mezzotint. Animals have long been a focus of her work. She is interested in the nature and variety of our perceptions of the non-human animal and particularly in the ways in which they inhabit and negotiate the human built environment. As an undergraduate Layton studied Fine Art at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (2005) and in 2008 she received an MA in Fine Art and Art History from Aberystwyth University, Wales.

Recent exhibitions include the International Print Triennial in Krakow, the International Mezzotint Festival (Ekaterinburg, Russia) and the annual exhibitions of the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) and the Royal Ulster Academy (RUA).

Aoife_Layton_Home_Comforts_mezzotint_and_embossing_30x25cm_2012 Home Comforts | Mezzotint, photopolymer embossing and chine-collé | Edition of 10 printed on Hahnemühle white | 30 x 25cm



Ties That Bind | Mezzotint | Edition of 10 printed on Hahnemühle natural paper | 18 x 18cm

The prints exhibited here represent part of the outcome of my residency at Swansea Print Workshop in August and September of last year. The residency afforded me the opportunity of taking time to explore alternative methods of image making to be combined with my on-going work in mezzotint engraving. I was fortunate to have the use of the studio iPad during my stay and was interested in the generative and collaborative possibilities of the tablet and associated apps. I also enjoyed the use of the excellent workshop facilities to experiment with photopolymer plates for relief printing and embossing. In my work I like to play with ideas about the ambiguities inherent in our relationships with other animals. While in Swansea I had ample opportunity to observe these interactions at the WWT Llanelli, the Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary, Abercrave, and Plantasia in Parc Tawe Retail Park. I was struck by the differences in the functions of each of these centres, varying from conservation and philanthropy to entertainment and education. The prints which developed out of my initial sketches have at their core, the idea of the relationship between the watcher and the watched in terms of animal captivity and spectatorship.

Ipad images using Brushes | Sketchbrook Pro


Printmaking has historically absorbed new technologies into its toolkit and the iPad and associate tools offer new possibilities to be investigated and new techniques to be added to the repertoire of printmakers. Aoife Layton’s enthusiasm for, and experimentation with, SPW’s iPad inspired other members of the Workshop to try it for themselves. In addition to the drawing apps, the iPad offers a number of related features which enable artists to create artwork with strong drawing and print elements combining digital with more traditional techniques. With email and social networking sites offering methods of sharing digital art, the potential for collaborative work is waiting to be explored.



Fiona Kelly 

Fiona Kelly was born in 1985 in Westmeath, Ireland. Kelly illustrates contemporary fables. In uniting banal objects, concentrated debris and throwaway remnants with playful slogans, she generates happenings.

The Palace | Etched Relief Print | Edition of 9 printed on Atskuchi Paper | 64 x 64cm

Her combinations facilitate the viewer’s questioning of the absurdities Kelly finds in unremarkable environments. What was thought to be familiar has to be reassessed. Kelly holds a B.F.A in Fine Art, Sculpture, received from Cluain Mhuire, Galway (2005) and a B.F.A (Honours) in Fine Art, Printmaking, from the Crawford College of Art, Cork (2008). She has exhibited in Ireland and internationally, including exhibitions in Cork and Galway, Ireland; Shanghai, China; Zoetermeer, Netherlands (Solo); New York, USA, and Reykjavik, Iceland. Kelly’s work can be seen in the public collections of The Jyvaskyla Museum of Art, Finland; The Art Students League of New York, U.S.A; at Crawford College of Art, Eli Lilly and the Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland.

The Abode | Etched Relief Print | Edition of 9 printed on Atskuchi Paper | 64 x 64cm 

The thing about SPW is, its idiosyncratic uniqueness. From the yellow nonplus door, to the wealth of presses, its unstinting members, and the ideas it catalyses. My time spent in Swansea biking, conversing, learning, scribbling and teaching has propelled my practice into a wholly new direction, tackling large compositions, drawing straight onto blocks whilst letting the image grow organically and experimenting with typography and text based imagery. The results of these processes enable me to utter this rare declaration; I am happy. The Swansea area and hinterland has given me a feast of thought and I can say the Contemporary Stereoscope Project I embarked on @ SPW has abundant fuel to be continued and remains a challenge to my visual dictum.

Drawn to Print in Schools Project 2012


Clockwise from top left | Iola Pallade, Molly Williams, Eira Jamel, Stanley

Prints produced by Bishopston School | Workshop Leader Nina Morgan

Swansea Print Workshop was delighted to be working in collaboration with the Education Department of City & County of Swansea, on a Drawn to Print In Schools project.

Taking inspiration from the different approaches of three Artists in Residence during SPW’s year-long Drawn to Print project, experienced outreach artists worked closely with students from Swansea schools in a workshop environment to explore the relationship between drawing and printmaking.

With access to the use of iPads and the well-equipped facilities of Swansea Print Workshop, students had a unique opportunity to consider both traditional and non-traditional printmaking techniques for making their artwork as well as ideas around the recording of the creative process.

The Education Department, has always been a great supporter of our work with young people in schools and we feel that, with the Department’s strong aims of developing young people’s skills in contemporary art, this project will be a great opportunity to build on a valuable partnership.

The Drawn to Print in Schools Project is made possible by grant funding received by The Education Department from The Arts Council of Wales.