The Print Symposium: The Nature of Printmaking

A one day symposium led by printmakers and artists discussing how the natural environment inspires their printmaking practice.

The aim was to discuss how and why the natural environment and landscape can influence the creative journey within printmaking practice.

Questions that were considered:

  • What is the ‘natural’ environment?
  • What impact does our environment have on the creative process of making?
  • Does our environment influence the processes and techniques used to create artwork?
  • What is the relationship between artist and nature?
  • How and why does the landscape influence artistic practice?

The event began with two separate talks by two very different artists who are influenced by the town and cityscapes around them; the first was by South Wales based Artist Printmaker Sarah Hopkins, followed by London-based printmaker Louise Hayward.

This was followed by a discussion piece by two artists who use the Leicester Print Workshop, Sarah Kirby and Serena Smith, who looked at how their work compared and contrasted in relation to the theme of nature.

After lunch the second discussion piece entitled ‘The Walk’ took place, in which the artists Greg Fuller, Jason Hicklin and Tracy Hill talked about their current project which ‘seeks to explore the complexity of peripheral spaces and the resonating presence of landscape within the constantly evolving geography of the North West of England.’

The final speaker of the day was artist, printmaker and Royal Academician Chris Orr. Chris has an extensive career in the arts and is one of the best known printmakers in the country. He has exhibited widely across the UK and internationally and was Professor of Printmaking at the Royal College of Art from 1998 to 2008. His talk was entitled ‘Against Nature’, which raised number of interesting discussion points.

There were also opportunities for delegates to ask individual speakers questions after their presentations. There were a range of different viewpoints being considered linked directly to notions of landscape, printmaking practice, and collaboration.

The Print Symposium was organised by the Regional Print Centre which is a partnership project, funded by Coleg Cambria and the Arts Council of Wales. Since 2002 the Centre has offered open access printmaking facilities to artists and designers from across Wales and further afield. It also conducts professional development, talks, workshops, courses and exhibitions which are fully accessible to the wider public and printmaking community. The Centre is open to anyone who wishes to gain or develop printmaking skills, from complete beginners to more experienced printmakers.

The Regional Print Centre continues to develop as a creative resource offering a range of events that are dedicated to the promotion, development and discussion of printmaking, something that we are very passionate about.


The Regional Print Centre receives support and funding from Coleg Cambria and the Arts Council of Wales, without which the Symposium would have taken place.

We would also like to thank the following for their enthusiasm, sponsorship and hard work, all of which have helped make the Symposium possible.

  • Luci Melegari (Director of Creative Industries at Coleg Cambria) for her continued support, commitment and enthusiasm for the Regional Print Centre
  • The Arts Council of Wales for their funding support
  • Charlotte French and the technical/front of house crew for all their help and support in the theatre. The event was linked directly to their Technical Theatre and Events Management course and was a great opportunity to work with them on a live brief
  • Nigel Taylor and the team at Rendezvous restaurant
  • Martin Thomas (for his photography skills)
  • Theresa Hailwood and the team at Theatre Ial for hosting the event
  • Finally we would like to thank the keynote speakers, Sarah Hopkins, Louise Hayward, Serena Smith, Sarah Kirby, Greg Fuller, Jason Hicklin, Tracy Hill, and Chris Orr for agreeing to take part in the symposium and sharing their thoughts, opinions and experience with us.

I hope you all enjoyed the debate!

At the Symposium, the Regional Print Centre also raised over £400.00 for Teenage Cancer Trust (Coleg Cambria’s charity for 2014/15) from donations and a print and book sale.

A big thank you to everyone who made a purchase or donation!



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