2020 Graduate Bursaries: Meet the Graduates!

In September we launched our call for three graduate bursaries, along with our partner studios – Double Elephant Print Workshop, Hot Bed Press and Thames Side Print Studio. The opportunities were met with overwhelmingly positive responses, and we have received over 70 applications from all over the world!

After a few weeks of carefully reading through applications and selecting – which needless to say was a very tough job for us and the studios – we are have offered the bursaries to three brilliant artists. As well as the extremely high overall quality of their work, we are also excited by the different relationships they have with printmaking, and can’t wait to see what they will be making in the studios.

Without further ado, here they are:

2020 Graduate Bursaries: Meet the Graduates! - Discover Contemporary Art Prints & Printmaking

Ellie Hayward
BA (Hons) Fine Art (2020), The Slade School of Fine Art, London, UK

Print and sculpture are central to my practice. Within both mediums I explore ideas around space with a focus on liminal spaces. The architectural language of spaces such as corridors, thresholds and boundaries create places of transition in our everyday lives. The relationship between sculpture and print is in constant flux. Over time the prints have become more sculptural and the sculptures more like drawings. It is this confused relationship and overlap between the processes which interests me. Through working with both mediums I explore the in-between/liminal space between 2D and 3D. It is this intersection where I intend my work to be.

Within my print practice, I combine different etching processes, layering aquatint and photo-etching. I convert photographs of my sculptures into photo-etchings, incorporating and blending them within the aquatint drawings. An element of the print process which is particularly interesting, is embossing. The emboss creates a physical trace off the plate on the paper. By etching through the copper plate the outline becomes the edge of the drawing. When printed the paper is pushed through the negative space, creating an emboss on the paper.

Having just graduated I am trying to navigate my way and continue printmaking. The bursary will financially enable me to continue printmaking but crucially provide an exciting opportunity to work at Thames Side Print Studio. It would allow me to further develop and explore new print techniques, which I am yet to experiment with – I am ambitious and try to push the boundaries of print in relation to scale. To continue developing this part of my print practice, a professional print studio is essential.

Ellie will be working with Thames Side Print Studio in London.

2020 Graduate Bursaries: Meet the Graduates! - Discover Contemporary Art Prints & Printmaking

Elizabeth Rose
MFA Printmaking (2019), Temple University, PA, USA

My practice as an artist begins with the study and research of parallel places and ecosystems. I observe and identify how they mirror each other’s function and form, and how, through their similarities they are able to exhibit uniqueness. Studying these sites is especially important in the face of climate change, as highly sensitive places like islands and alpine areas become more vulnerable to fluctuating temperatures, rising lake and sea levels, which in turn impacts the survival of flora and fauna in these vulnerable landscapes.

Referencing my own experiences travelling through altitudinal zones to alpine areas, and across latitudinal lines, I create work which connects geographically disconnected landscapes focusing on their shared ecologies: how each site is connected through climatic shifts, soil qualities, and habitat range. I repetitively rework traditional copperplate matrices, often in combination and collage with photo-lithography, and photography to extract observations, uncovering cultural and natural histories.

During the year of 2019/2020 I have been in Krakow, Poland as an Artist researcher on a Fulbright Fellowship. I investigated how the Polish landscape and environment demonstrates similarities and differences to those in North America through ecological niches present in Polish national parks. I spent my time in Poland photographing, sketching, preparing files, and etchings. Although my project was suspended because of the global pandemic, I have generated enough raw material to be used in the studio. I am still in Europe, and this bursary and opportunity will enable the completion of my project in the studio.

Elizabeth will be working with Double Elephant Print Workshop in Exeter.

2020 Graduate Bursaries: Meet the Graduates! - Discover Contemporary Art Prints & Printmaking

Julia Syrzistie
BA (Hons) Communication Design (2019), Glasgow School of Art, UK

I am a graduate of Communication Design from the Glasgow School of Art, where I specialised in Illustration. Using printing techniques such as letterpress and screen printing is an integral part of my process. My practice centres around the history, material qualities and relevance of letterpress printing in present digitally-inclined world. For my degree show project, I explored the story of Doves Type: a story of a metal typeface, which was thought to be destroyed at the beginning of the 20th century, through the disposal into River Thames by its owner. However, the typeface managed to survive on the riverbed for over 100 years and was recovered and turned into a digital font. My project consisted of a book, presenting photographs and prints visualising the unbelievable story, as well as texts from writers who I commissioned to accompany my visuals.

I am passionate about printmaking and book design, and eager to produce work which combines the two crafts of together. Since graduating, I have taken part in a letterpress residency in the Caseroom SWG3 in September 2019, as well as producing a new series of letterpress prints for A Year in Review exhibition by The Design Weans in December 2019.

I am eager to develop further in areas of printmaking and book design, and would like to use the funding to help me achieve my next project incorporating both areas of interest. I am keen to find new ways of bringing the craft of letterpress to a wider audience through the use of narrative and imagery. While the research phase does not require funding, I would need financial help with the latter stages of the project, such as gaining access to letterpress facilities in Glasgow’s SWG3 Caseroom, covering letterpress printing costs, as well as funding digital printing and bookbinding to achieve a limited edition set of books. Having the opportunity to work with Hot Bed Press would allow me to keep experimenting with the use of printmaking within the context of design, which I am eager to push further as part of my professional practice.

Julia will be working with Hot Bed Press in Salford.

We and the studios look forward to working with Ellie, Elizabeth and Julia, and we can’t wait to introduce you to new work they will be making in the studio next year!


2020 Graduate Bursaries: Meet the Graduates! - Discover Contemporary Art Prints & Printmaking