A group of Illustration students from Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) are bringing traditional printmaking skills back to the Print Room with a site-specific project for the former press room of the Bournemouth Echo newspaper in Richmond Hill, which is now elegant restaurant, The Print Room.

Although we’re living in a digital age, the resurgence of the hand-made, ‘the bespoke’, has led the students to look at print in another way, with the formation of a collective called ‘Fingerprint Club’ a group of five final year Illustration students, and one second year student, dedicated to the artisan skills of printmaking. Their works, ‘A Sign of the Times’, will provide a representation of popular culture, iconic objects, signs and symbols using printmaking approaches such as screen-printing, linocuts, mono-printing, and lithography with a twist of contemporary modernity, with the framed works hanging in the site-appropriate space of The Print Room in Bournemouth in connection with AUB’s TheGallery. The AUB fosters close links with industry through its vocational courses, and this collaboration is a great example of a successful creative partnership.

Six years ago, The Print Room, a beautiful art deco building, took over the ground floor of the Echo Building on Richmond Hill, which was built in 1932 as a beacon of hope for Bournemouth following the Great Depression. It was constructed at great cost by Seal and Hardy and was built in the resplendent Art Deco style of the 1930’s. The ground floor of the building housed the newspaper’s hot metal printing presses and several times a day there would be a was a loud rumble from the Echo building as the presses rolled into action with the daily news thundering onto hundreds of miles of paper. At full tilt the whole press was capable of producing up to 45,000 papers an hour. On Friday 4th April 1997, the old press rolled for the last time in the building, although the newspapers offices are still located on the top floor of the building.

The six students, Elliot Coffin, Robin Mackenzie, Lydia Hannah Thomas, Matthew Waudby, Adam Wilson and Luke MacMaster are bringing back a celebration of print. From the smell of the ink, to the feel of the paper, they are working in the traditional artisan sense of printmaking, creating works of art that connect The Print Room with its heritage.

As Robin MacKenzie, one of the Fingerprint student’s commented “My printmaking practice really stems from a love of true craftsmanship. The sense of time and care evident in a master wood engraving or linocut is incredible and it is the work of great printmakers such as Lynd Ward and Frand Masereel that constantly inspire me.”

The work is being launched in The Print Room, Bournemouthon Wednesday 24th April at a Breakfast Event at 7.30am, and will be on display permanently – until Autumn 2013. There will also be a number of original limited edition prints for sale in Ink Bar adjacent to The Print Room in the coming months to celebrate the fact that print is indeed alive and well in The Print Room,Bournemouth!

For more information on the Breakfast Event on 24th April, please visit www.theprintroom-bournemouth.co.uk