In 2007, six international artists produced a unique set of limited edition prints for Spike Print Studio, known as The Spike Print Editions. The Project was made possible through a grant from the Arnolfini Collections Trust, initiated by former Arnolfini Director and founder, Jeremy Rees. Bristol Museum and Art Gallery have received one of each print for their collection, as part of the conditions of the Award.
The underlying theme is that the artists all have a strong association with Bristol but are also of international stature. All of them were suggested by Lucy Byatt, Director of Spike Island back in 2005. James Ireland was their artist in residence in 2005; Mariele Neudecker, Wood & Harrison, and Andrew Mania have studios at Spike Island. All the artists are well known in different ways in the contemporary art world and are all represented by galleries. Bristol is rapidly becoming a centre for contemporary art with many artists based in the city and in the region.
Spike Print Studio Director (2007-2008) Gill Nicol said:
“Interestingly, we decided to eliminate the need for a brief and instead placed the emphasis on the artist being able to explore print as they liked, as well as providing the opportunity to work with master printmaker Martyn Grimmer. The collaborative element to the Project – ie an artist working with Master Printer, Martyn Grimmer (who is also an artist) – is seen as vital and dynamic in producing the best possible prints.
This kind of relationship between artist and printer is a traditional one. Contemporary artists through the last century – Picasso, Jasper Johns, Frank Stella – have all worked with and alongside master printers who enable their visions to be achieved.
Technical accomplishments in printmaking during the last half of the 20th century have made it possible for many contemporary artist to produce prints of exceptional quality.”
The Editioning Project is the first stage in a long-term process for us – Spike Print Studio has the capacity and the experience to become publishers of high quality and innovative contemporary prints.
“I am delighted to see the new ambition and aspiration of Spike Print Studio. The partnership with Arnolfini and Bristol Museum is a unique arrangement – it is fantastic that works produced here at Spike Island, in the Print Studio, with such high profile artists, who live and work in Bristol, will be seen in the Museum’s collection. This is the start of a new future for the Print Studio. It is impressive that they can manage this new development whilst also remaining committed to their existing and fast growing membership. We are proud not only to support the Studio with the Editions Project but also in its ongoing efforts to bring printmaking excellence to the community in general.”
Lucy Byatt, Artistic Director, Spike Island
The prints are sold individually or as a set of six. They are all different sizes and different size editions and are all made at Spike Print Studio.
The prints are available also as a portfolio at a special price of £6,000 unframed.
Other Editions by artists Sonia Boyce, Richard Forster and Sophie Macpherson are also available and are sold individually. Spike Print Studio is in a position to work with artists who are invited to Spike Island and is pleased to be able to effect this collaboration.
Written 28 May 2008