In Print: Capturing Light – opening at Watts Contemporary Gallery on 25 October – brings together over 50 original prints by ten leading contemporary artists to explore how light and shadow are captured through diverse printmaking techniques.


Artists have always strived to capture the effects of light – it is a challenge that has faced artists since the beginning. It is the key to creating the illusion of three dimensions on a two-dimensional plane, and printmakers have the added challenge of achieving this through an additional medium.


Work selected for this exhibition – which includes linocut, screenprint and solar etching – will demonstrate how leading contemporary printmakers capture natural light at different times of day, from Sunrise by Anna Harley to Coming Home by Tim SouthallLow Cloud over Signy Island by Ian Brooks and Cyclist Ariege by Andy Lovell show light effects in different parts of the world, from the Antarctic to the South of France. Reflected light is the focus for Greenwich Pier West by Steve Edwards and Reflection by Phil Greenwood, and, for Anja Percival, observing light changing, “the unremarkable to the remarkable”, is key to capturing filtering light.


Luella Martin uses sunlight to create her prints; the artwork is put into eco-friendly acetate film and placed on a light-sensitive plate.  John Bryce’s monochrome wood engravings depict the power of light rays through simple lines and Gail Brodholt shows how light can be portrayed through the strong lines of linocut.


Printmaking is important in the history of Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village. In the years immediately preceding the First World War, Mary Watts (1849 – 1938) collaborated with the great printer Emery Walker (1851 – 1933) to establish a print making studio at the Artists’ Village, where a sequence of reproductions of the most famous pictures of G F Watts (1817 – 1904) were produced. These richly coloured painterly photogravures were distributed and sold through London print dealers.


Today, the annual In Print exhibition at Watts Contemporary Gallery celebrates this tradition and gives visitors the opportunity to see and buy affordable contemporary art, with proceeds directly benefitting Watts Gallery Trust’s Art for All learning programme.


In Print: Capturing Light opens at Watts Contemporary Gallery on 25 October 2019 (until 5 January 2020).  The exhibition is a collaboration with Gwen Hughes Fine Art.  All work is for sale, with prices ranging from £65 to £700.


For further information:          @WattsGallery         facebook/thewattsgallery


Image: Anna Harley, Moonlight