Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research

Sympathetic Transcriptions, CREATE conference, Gjovik University College, Gjovik, Norway, 8th-11th June 2010

Paul Laidler
Name of conference:Create Conference
Place: Gjovik University College, Gjovik, Norway
Date: 8th-11th June 2010
Paper Presented by: Paul Laidler
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The technical prowess of the traditional master printer within collaborative printmaking has enabled the artist to produce technically proficient artwork without having to spend years acquiring the necessary skills to realise their ideas in print. The collaborative production of fine art print within the field of printmaking has predominantly seen the adoption of the artist and artisan model as a mode of production. Arts historical association with this collaborative method is steeped in the modernist notion of the “great person” theory. Here the solitary artist figure is the sole creator and innovator toward the realisation of an artwork.

Within 20th C fine art print there have been a number of varying personalities and methodological approaches by printers that have had a profound effect upon the collaborative model. Collaboration is intrinsically linked to a pluralistic method of production and therefore open to the subtleties and nuances that exist within this practice. Although there are a multitude of reasons as to why an artist would work with a particular studio there has been sufficient evidence to suggest that the relationship is more than a mere division of labour.


The digital print studio at the CFPR has been developed as an extension of the traditional print studio. Since the studio’s inception, the centre has undertaken a series of print collaborations with a variety of different artists. These collaborations have indicated that the printer’s role can be far from passive and that the technology requires an understanding of the physical in relation to the virtual. As an example of this practice, presentation will demonstrate the printer’s affinity for the art of collaborating prior to the actual technical affiliations of the role.

With a pluralistic focus this presentation will discuss previous acknowledgements of the printer’s sympathetic approach in relation to collaborative production methods at the CFPR.