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

Dr Paul Laidler


Digital publications and technical innovations; the collaborative print studio in the digital age - Print Quarterly [in press]

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This working paper argues that the collaborative print studio has had a profound impact upon the production and realisation of some of the most innovative works within the discipline of fine art printmaking. It explores the importance historically of the master printer’s contribution in the creation of a number of seminal fine art prints and the technical skills and qualities that are necessary to be successful. By identifying the different publishing studios’ approaches, sensibilities and philosophies when publishing editions with artists, the paper addresses the often neglected field of collaboration in the fine arts.

The paper goes on to discuss the impact of digital technology within the field of fine art printmaking. This is explored in detail through a case study of the collaboration between Richard Hamilton and the Centre for Fine Print Research at UWE, discussing the advantages of using the traditional collaborative print studio model when generating and archiving digital print data for a specific artist. The paper compares traditional standards and benchmarks associated with the collaborative print studio as a means to reappraise the role of the master printer in the digital age and offer best practice methods for emerging digital print studios. It discusses the development of CFPR Editions in which the Centre acts as a collaborative print studio specialising in the production and realisation of digital print publications by artists.

The paper was presented at the Industry and Genius in the Printing Trade conference, Birmingham School of Art, Birmingham (4-5 September 2012) and will be published by the Print Historical Society as part of the conference proceedings in a volume edited by Dr Caroline Archer and Dr Paul Nash.
cover image of the  Perpetual Portfolio

A Perpetual Portfolio

Editor:Laidler, Paul
Co-Editors: Bodman, Sarah and Johnson, Linda
Publisher: Impact Press, UWE Bristol, Musee Nacional Del Grabado
Date: 06.05
ISBN: 0 9547025 0 6
URL Links: Download PDF pt1 and pt2
BUY ONLINE: http://store.uwe.ac.uk/browse/

The Catalogue for the Perpetual Portfolio Exhibition was released at the Museo Nacional Del Grabado, Buenos Aires, Argentina in June 2005. The publication includes all twenty-three prints produce during the CFPR digital residency programme of which each is accompanied by an artist's statement.

The catalogue also contains an introduction by Professor Steve Hoskins explaining the centres perspective concerning research and practice in the arts. Followed by three essays from South American artist's Lucrecia Urbano, Cecilia Mandrile and Alicia Candiani providing a mixture of personal experience, insight and reflection about the digital portfolio. And finally a case study of the production process from one of the participating artists written and illustrated by Paul Laidler.

Journal Articles

When Artists become Inkjet Innovators

Publication: Image Reports
author: Laidler, Paul
Date: 11.07.2014
URL Links: www.imagereportsmag.co.uk/features


The collaborative print studio has had a profound impact upon the production and realisation of some of the most innovative prints within the discipline of fine art printmaking. Historically an artist with little understanding of the print process, or access to print facilities could seek the technical knowledge and craft sensibilities from a studio’s master printer. In some instances these unique collaborative pursuits redefined production methods by working outside of existing print parameters and pushed the boundaries of what was previously thought possible through delivering diverse collaborative print projects.

This form of collaborative endeavour has contributed to defining the roles, expectations, functioning, publication, output and artisanship for collaborative fine print productions – and has become central to the CFPR’s approach when working with artists and industry to explore the parameters of digital print technologies, develop CPD courses and identify new avenues of research in both the pure and applied fields.

CFPR Bristol: Pay Close Attention

Publication: g&e Print and Art Edition Magazine
author: Laidler, Paul
Date: ISSUE 37, pp 42-49
ISBN: 1886-2306
URL Links: www.grabadoyedicion.com

The role of the ‘limited edition’ as a production model and creative practice has been adopted by a number of creative industries for a range of pragmatic, economic and conceptual reasons. More over the significance of the reproductive and physical artefact is undergoing a number of shifts and revisions given the impact of digital technology on the more object centric producers and their markets. For instance over the past five years the music industry has seen a rapid decline in its physical retail stores. In the UK, companies such as Virgin and HMV no longer exist on the high street due to the increase in online music sales and the emergence of the download culture. Whilst it may appear that the physically printed music product is gradually being dematerialised, a resurgence of interest in vinyl and the ‘special edition product’ has emerged in more recent years. Similarly a number of music labels have continued to invest in the printed product whilst catering for the emergence of new audiences.

As a means to explore the role of the physical artefact in the digital age Designer and Creative Director Phil Lee (of London-based independent record label XL Recordings) has recently been invited to produce a fine art printed edition with CFRP Editions. For the collaborative venture between Phil Lee and CFPR Editions, the print project revisits one of the company’s previously unrealised client-based projects with the UK based group The Prodigy. In this instance the project will explore metameric effects in inkjet printing as a means to foreground the physical, spatial and experiential qualities that are predicated in print. Further more a novel multi layered inkjet print approach will be utilised to engage with the physical properties of layering colour whilst potentially expanding the industrial defined computational colour method

Codex Event 8: An Australian and British Collaboration of pulp-printing, installation and artists’ books with Sarah Bodman, Paul Laidler, Tim Mosely, Monica Oppen and Tom Sowden 2011-2012

journal article Print Council of Australia
author: Bodman, S.; Sowden, T.; Laidler, P.; Moseley, T.
Date: 2012, 47 (3). pages 6-8
URL Links:: www.printcouncil.org.au/imprint/imprint-spring-2012

A co-authored article by all the artists for Imprint journal, Australia, September 2012. Sarah Bodman and Paul Laidler from the Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR) at UWE, Bristol, UK joined Tim Mosely in Brisbane at Queensland College of Art (QCA, Griffith University, Brisbane ) after the Impact 7 Multi-disciplinary Printmaking Conference in Melbourne in October last year. Tom Sowden and Monica Oppen collaborated by sending instructions from (CFPR) Bristol and Sydney respectively.

Our brief was to explore the concepts of the urban jungle, based on Deleuze and Guattari’s theories of smooth and striated space in their publication A Thousand Plateaus. The striated was to be the instructional signs we assimilate and obey each day as we pass through any city, “don’t walk, walk, do not enter, exit, stay behind the line, go back” etc. The smooth was to remove the control, and think of space in the way that the Inuit see their surroundings on an even, unbroken white horizon of snow, or the way that nomads travel without constraint in the desert landscape. For Codex Event 8, to smooth was to bring the jungle into the urban. As well as the article in Imprint, a full report can be viewed online:

For more information visit the book arts website

Artists Yearbook cover image 2010

Human Automation

Publication: printmaking today
author: Laidler, Paul
Date: Winter 2011
more information: Human Automation article
URL Links: www.cellopress.co.uk/

Defining Print Paul Laidler's PhD focuses on the production process rather than the artefact itself. In his exploration of a means that is not quite print, he questions the boundaries of printmaking in the digital age in this article for Printmaking Today.

Here the preoccupation with production and process is emphasised over the end product, thus addressing the collaborative print process and the conceptual considerations behind the work. Whilst the resulting works are not ‘prints’ in the truest sense, printmaking is embedded in the work as a means to consider the broadening definition of print within the context of the digital mediated image. This expanded notion of printmaking is developed through the production of paintings and drawings whilst the digitally mediated ‘print’ is realised through the POD (Print on Demand) model - a facility synonymous with digital technology. Collectively the themes and production processes highlight the often de-emphasised collaborative undertaking by printers for artists whilst the evolving nature of digital tools and facilities may question the role of the Master Printer in the digital age.

Artists Yearbook cover image 2010

The Printed Reality

Publication: the california printmaker
Guest edited by Printeresting
Author: Laidler, Paul
Date: Summer 2011

more information: The Printed Reality article
URL Links: www.printeresting.org/2011/11/06/the-california-printmaker-is-here/

The invention and subsequent development of the printed image has changed the way in which we learn, see and describe the world around us. Our preoccupation with viewing the world through its image has created an environment of two-dimensional projections unfolding from three-dimensional beginnings. Within the Printed Reality group the interplay between image and object is not a seamless transition but one of artifice, theatre. Here the recorded image functions as a backdrop, a stage prop positioned and presented in such a manner that we are readerly accepting of its fictional role. The performance emanates through the recording of edges and folds, casting both shadows and omitting reflections from an external world, a reality not of our own but somewhat more representative of our own.

The Printed Reality Exhibition presents photographic images by seven different artists within a gallery instillation setting. The exhibition was conceived as a format for considering the relationship between print and the Internet in the era of Photography 2.0. The overlapping of the electronic image and printed presentation in The Printed Reality exhibition draws upon further associations with the use of digital platforms as a means to disseminate physical artefacts within museums, galleries and educational institutions