With a light rain falling and an outside temperature of 5 Degrees,the Studio artists had misgivings as to whether any adventurous souls would turn up at all. 5.30 on the dot, the door bell sounds, and there is Denise Ferran, come all the way from Belfast, the first to arrive, followed by Seamus Ó Cinnéide, and his daughter Áine. The Print room is suddenly full of friendly faces, glasses of wine, and chat. Louise Leonard, Elke Thonnes, Nicola Morrin, Susan Early and Gráinne Cuffe welcomed the crowd, took coats, proferred wine. Graham Wilkinson [Behavior and Attitudes market research,and a member of the Graphic Studio Board]comments on how orderly the studio is looking. There has been an atmosphere all day of People Coming To Dinner….and the consequential sorting of corner accumulations,and a touch of recycling.
Dr.Angela Griffith, GSD Chair, talked for 40 minutes about the history of Fine Art Printmaking in Ireland, and the origins and history of the Graphic Studio, Dublin. As the handing on of expertise and skills is such an integral part of Studio life, one wonders about those printmakers who made prints prior to the existence of the Studio. Who did they bounce ideas off? A crisp,haunting image – a ship on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, an etching made in 1880 by William Booth Pearsall – the first original print in so much that it was not a print made “after” a painting – it was a print made for the purpose of making an image which was completely the printmakers own image.
Having been placed in a historical context by Dr.Angela Griffith, the Studio was then open for viewing, with 11 printmakers present, showing and explaining their techniques, and talking about their work. The 35 or so visitors were invited to look at the Sponsors Portfolios, Studio artists’ work, and Visiting artists work with Robert Russell, Studio Director, and Catherine O’Riordan, Graphic Studio Gallery Manager.
Jean Bardon showed gold leaf application, Ger Cox, Jenny Lane demonstrated wood block printing, Ruth O‘Donnell explained the sugar lift etching technique, Aisling Dolan showed her photo etchings, Mick Timmins showed and explained lithography, Stephen Lawlor his multi – plate printing, Pamela Leonard showed the initial stages of drawing on a “smoked” copper plate, Dermot Ryan printed, Gráinne Cuffe showed drawings, and large etchings. While our IUSA visitors were being introduced to many different processes, no-one showed signs of information overload – after another glass of wine, most people went out into that chill February night having been truly welcomed by the Studio artists, with images abounding in their heads, and a promise to return.
The Graphic Studio Dublin is a not – for – profit artists/printmakers studio, and is supported by the Arts Council. Its purpose was to provide training in the technique of Fine Art Print, to promote the medium and to provide innovative, creative, and affordable art for the public. Over many years of developing and growing, it is now situated at Distillery Court, 573 North Circular Road, Dublin. It was founded by Leslie McWeeney, Anne Yeates and Patrick Hickey in 1960.
If you would like to be added to the guest list for the Graphic Studio Gallery, Cope Street, please contact Catherine O’Riordan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Their website is www.graphicstudiodublin.com.