International Print Bienale

December 12, 2011

Marta Lech: 10.10, linocut 62x90cm

In November I got a lift to Newcastle which turned out to be a lovely city as I discovered walking all over it to visit the International Print Biennale. First stop, the most welcoming Northern Print workshops who co-ordinated the bienale, made me a cup of tea and showed me around.  A very blustery and invigorating walk along the river for a  quick trip to the ‘closed due to electric fault’ Baltic  and back over the river to the Laing, Newcastle and Northumberland University exhibitions too. My favourite were  Marta Lech‘s  large linocuts  of lightplay, beautifully cut if unfortunately set behind wobbly crap flexi-plastic. Other highlights were  Lauren Dreschers etching and wax tattoed figures , Michael Donnelly’s one-plate-9-images-clever-inking, Katsutoshi Yuasa’s massive woodcut shipwrecks, Jessica Harrisons’ Blarney Stone and Elizabeth Boasts’ larger than life consequences woodcuts. Bit of a theme there I’m afraid. Alongside all the rest which was good too, including the Chapman Brothers and Mervyn Peake retrospective (not technically in the biennale but worth mentioning all the same).  Apart from being a wide ranging print show, the biennale is a good introduction to Newcastle. I loved the scale of Newcastle’s buildings  it’s great big bridges and it’s almost-sea air, I hope to get back there soon.