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Experience Art Together Again at Rheged

The Great Print Exhibition returns to Rheged for a remarkable sixth year. The largest exhibition of printmaking in the UK opens on Monday 7 December 2020 and runs until Sunday 7 March 2021. The Exhibition will be the first since lockdown to take up residence in the centre’s state-of-the-art gallery space.

Over the last five years, the show has  gained an excellent reputation for showcasing both respected and emerging print artists and the 2020 exhibition is no exception:  over 800 original prints by 65 artists from around the UK including 12 new names to the Great Print Exhibition – many of them new to the Cumbrian art scene. Home-grown talent is represented in the form of nine artists from the county including Sarah Cemmick, Polly Marix Evans, Mark Pearce and Alan Stones. In total 392 framed artworks will be on view plus a further 450 unframed pieces available to view in the browsers.

The Rheged Centre, which is located at the gateway to the Lake District, has become synonymous with forward-thinking and dynamic exhibitions. The exhibition features work from some of Britain’s most highly-respected printmakers; original etchings by Mila Furstova, who created the iconic album art for Coldplay’s Ghost Stories and Laura Boswell who works exclusively with lino cut and traditional Japanese woodblock print and is well-known for her monthly column in Artists and Illustrators Magazine as well as her weekly podcast. Printing techniques showcased include collagraph, woodcut, etching, drypoint etching, lithograph, linocut, screenprint and cyanotype. Interpretation has been developed this year to include short film clips, giving visitors insight into print making processes along with ‘print reveals’.

Also new for 2020:

Under the Skin – these limited-edition screen prints seek to raise awareness of endangered animals from across the globe with, quite literally, an underlying message: under UV light the phosphorescent skeleton is exposed – all that remains when a species goes extinct. 20% of print proceeds directly go towards the protection of the animal.

Woodism – a collaboration between a young autistic boy, Woody, and his father, who has turned his unique phrases into linocut prints. The results are eye-catching, emotive designs bringing Woody’s words to life. Perhaps more importantly the venture has given Woody new-found confidence – suddenly his words became important. Woody says; “I’m famous! I’m the author!”

The well-stocked Design Shop will also be open daily selling a carefully considered range – from pocket money purchases for budding artists to design-led gifts, cards, prints and homeware plus art supplies such as printmaking materials and books including Cranfield printing ink and Fabriano printmaking paper.

Gallery Manager Claire Harrison said: “I think it’s fair to say that 2020 has been a year like no other. It’s incredible to think that the last exhibition we staged here at Rheged was Great Print 5 which finished just before lockdown. Now, here we are, nine months later and opening our doors to socially-distanced visitors to finally, once again, enjoy some much-needed art and escapism. Like so many other industries, the arts and culture has suffered terribly at the hands of Covid-19. Opening Great Print 6 is a wonderful step in the right direction. Now more than ever, we need the respite that art can offer – a chance to contemplate, reflect, escape and rationalise the incredible times we live in. And who knows, perhaps you’ll even find a piece of artwork you never knew you wanted or needed!”

Claire and the Rheged team are delighted to bring the Great Print Exhibition back to Rheged in the inspiring gallery space and are looking forward to welcoming socially-distanced visitors to explore this collection. Hung in a salon style, with floor to ceiling prints filling the gallery, as ever, it promises to be a visual feast and a fitting celebration of British printmaking.

The Great Print Exhibition runs from Monday 7 December 2020 to Sunday 7 March 2021. It is open every day from 9am-5.30pm except for Christmas and Boxing Day. Admission is free but you must be pre-book a time slot online at www.rheged.com or on arrival at the desk.

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