Setting Fire to the world

A fiery swimmer from James Tucker and colleagues in Seoul, South Korea

Northern Print, a small printmaking studio and gallery in Newcastle famous for punching above its weight with ambitious ventures such as the International Print Biennale, has once again proved its international mettle with Flaming Prints. We made it round the world in 24 hours of constant creativity as eight international printmaking studios in England, Canada, North America, Mexico, Hong Kong, Korea, South Africa and Poland responded to the challenge to create Flaming Prints in celebration of the Olympic flame arriving in Britain on 18 May 2012.

Artists at Northern Print, Newcastle UK with their completed Flaming Prints

Each printmaking studio had three hours to create prints themed around flames, before handing over to the next country. World renowned printmakers ignited by the unique project included Marta Lech from Poland, Mexican artist Damien Flores, Audrey Feltham from Newfoundland and Vermont-based Rachel Gross.  Englishman James Tucker worked with two Korean artists to create an amazing man swimming through fire, while in China, literally thousands contributed to the project at the Hong Kong Open Print Shop.

Amazing crowds contribute to Flaming Prints at the Hong Kong Open Print Shop

The images created are full of life and fire. Using a multitude of printmaking methods, from linocut to screen printing, the works range from the abstract to the figurative, and everything in between. Brave printmakers at The Artists’ Press in South Africa actually set fire to their inks just to see what happened.

Relief printing in the Two Rivers Studio, Vermont

Anna Wilkinson, Director of Northern Print and chief imagineer of Flaming Prints, says:

“What I’ve enjoyed has been seeing the differences and the similarities between the studios. I’ve always felt part of an international community of artists and printmakers and it’s really nice to do something so genuinely global.

It’s difficult to imagine how we would have done it without the internet, and particularly all the social media channels like twitter, facebook, Youtube and Pinterest. It’s taken our use of social media to a whole new level and really raised the profile of everyone involved, and printmaking in the global sphere.”

One of the beautiful works created by Damien Flores during the Mexican Flaming Prints session

Over 100 images from Flaming Prints are gathered together on Pinterest.com/FlamingPrints as a record of this remarkable artistic event.

Experimenting with smoke for Flaming Prints in Newfoundland, Canada

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