York Printmakers to mount sixth autumn print fair at York Cemetery on Sept 23 & 24

Rowntree Park, lino print, by Jo Rodwell

YORK Printmakers will hold their sixth Autumn Print Fair at York Cemetery Chapel and Harriet Room on September 23 and 24 from 10am to 5pm.

Set up in 2015 by a dozen printmakers from the York area, this thriving, diverse group now numbers around 40 enthusiastic artists, drawn from a wide range of printmaking backgrounds, from art students to professional artists.

Working independently, they come together to support and challenge each other by sharing opportunities, ideas and processes. 

“Our annual print fair is a well-established event in the city’s creative calendar, attracting people from across the country,” says printmaker, illustrator and graphic designer Jo Ruth.

Kilburn White Horse, lino print, by Michelle Hughes

“It’s our opportunity to exhibit current work and to share our ideas and processes with an interested audience.”

Artists often take inspiration from their surroundings, in this case York and beyond. “Some evoke memories through their prints, others celebrate historic views,” says Jo. “There will be plenty to explore as you see how some of our members have interpreted familiar views through their own eyes.  

“Our printmakers are no strangers to finding wonderful opportunities for creative ideas in and around York, both in the city and in the surrounding dramatic countryside. Some take inspiration from well-known landmarks; others look for beauty in less obvious places.”

For next month’s fair, Russell Hughes has produced a series of collagraph prints and collages inspired by walks around Richmond, North Yorkshire. “I interpret the variations encountered in our daily lives, recording experience in data, observing patterns in nature and in the built environment,” says this explorer of colour and pattern in handmade printmaking.

Trespassing, lino print, by Rachel Holborrow

Rachel Holborow’s lino print Trespassing explores the way the natural world rubs up against a more urban environment in its depiction of often-overlooked wild plants and flowers, such as poppies and chamomile, that populate the field margins along the A64.

Michelle Hughes creates linocut prints of iconic views of the Yorkshire countryside. “Walking and cycling in the area helps me to capture a sense of place,” she says. “I see so many different views of the Kilburn White Horse, even from Holgate Windmill in the street next to my studio.”

Other York Printmakers aim to evoke memories of a place or celebrate a well-known vista. Harriette Rymer, for example, produces delicate lino prints of flowers and has been inspired by the daffodils’ herald of springtime around the city walls.

Lino printer Jo Rodwell grew up in York. “There are so many sites and places that are familiar to me,” she says. “I try to capture the essence of a place and incorporate relatable local scenes that can trigger memories and make people talk about what it means to them. People can have their own relationship with my work and can place themselves in it, whatever their age.”

Minster In Bloom,  lino print, by Harriette Rymer

Etching, linocut, collagraph, monotype, screen print, solar plate, Japanese woodblock, lithography, stencilling and gel plate printing all will feature in the print fair.

“Our members have a wide range of printmaking backgrounds and experience, but we all share a passion for print,” says Jo Ruth. “We’re happy to chat about our ideas, processes and techniques.

“Some members also run printmaking courses, so this is also a great opportunity to find out more and chat to the artists behind the prints.”

Hundreds of original prints will be on show and for sale. Entry is free.

York Printmakers’ Autumn Print Fair, York Cemetery, Cemetery Road, York, September 23 and 24, 10am to 5pm. Fair visitors can walk around the tranquil cemetery grounds, rich with wildlife. For more details, go to: yorkprintmakers.org.uk

York Printmakers’ Autumn Print Fair 2023 poster, showing a detail of Russell Hughes’s collagraph print Variations VII (Forms)