Breaking Out Of The Frame @ The Workers Gallery

15 Mar

See my print installations and more artwork by me and the gallery artists throughout March and April at The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir in The Rhondda Valley. It’s a great place to visit.

I’ve been a printmaker for a long while, I majored in Printmaking in Art College back at the end of the 1970s and my lecturer, Andy Charlton a fantastic artist, was proper old school. Nothing wrong with that, but in recent years I’ve become disillusioned with the conventional way of exhibiting prints, in a frame on a pristine wall in a gleaming white gallery.



I’ve always preferred art to be inclusive, rather than exclusive and so many galleries actively promote exclusivity, which puts a lot of people off even entering. And when someone does step over the doorstep, it’s very easy to walk by the rows of neatly framed artwork arranged on the pristine walls without stopping for a closer look or understanding the processes that have gone into the piece.

window 2

I’ve been trying to break out of the frame and display my printmaking in a way that develops a more interactive relationship with the viewer and also to move it into a viewing place that is more accessible than a conventional gallery. I’ve been experimenting with assembling multiple prints, starting with a work based on the cyanotype technique, a pattern for a Victorian corset and a series of sketchbook drawings of elder women.

I have exhibited them in sequence, hanging on a wall, and I also took it all apart and tied it to a clothes horse as you can see above.  I really liked the clothes airer scenario so I decided to do another.

frida paper

A while back, I had a small rubber stamp  made up from a silkscreen print I did based on the fabulous Frida Kahlo, an artist I admire very much. I printed it onto small leftover pieces of a beautiful Japanese Shiohara paper that I had been using for another print job .

I had been wondering what to do with them and I finally decided on making them up into a self-contained installation. I made a start by sewing them onto a very robust handmade paper – 300gsm – that I’d bought at the Tate Gallery a few years ago on an antique Singer sewing machine.

And then I assembled them onto a clothes airer. People seem more willing to walk around something three-dimensional and they look at the work far more than when it’s in frames on a wall.


So far these works have been exhibited in an arts café, a conventional gallery, a pop-up artspace in a socially deprived area, and a shop window and will soon be going to The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir in the Rhondda Valley, a much-loved community-oriented artspace in what was, until the austerity cutbacks, the local library. The challenge now is to continue to break out of the frame and to find even more socially relevant places and ways to show my work.

World of Work Workers Gallery Poster

16 Responses to “Breaking Out Of The Frame @ The Workers Gallery”

  1. Fiona March 17, 2016 at 11:50 #

    Really exciting and inspiring.. Printmaking can sometimes appear so static in galleries, great to see it so accessible.

  2. anna warren portfolio March 17, 2016 at 07:15 #

    I agree completely about finding new ways of presenting prints – this was one thing that led to my 3D pieces. Just hanging them the way you have, and stitching together makes the imagery so much more immediate and (potentially!) tactile. They all look wonderful.

  3. paperstew March 15, 2016 at 23:11 #

    Hurray for taking prints to a different level! I’m all for it! You’ve even opened up some different ideas in my brain. 😉

    • Rosie Scribblah March 15, 2016 at 23:16 #

      ooh what are you planning???? 😀

      • paperstew March 15, 2016 at 23:18 #

        Possibly a city scape. It’s probably too ambitious, but nice to stretch the grey cells. 😉

      • paperstew March 15, 2016 at 23:19 #

        I’ve been horribly sick and my brain is finally turning towards art…

      • paperstew March 15, 2016 at 23:23 #

        Have you ever thought about actually stitching the corset together?

      • Rosie Scribblah March 15, 2016 at 23:28 #

        Oh I hope you’re feeling better. I’m planning to do cyanotype onto fabric next and make up the corset. The Bockingford paper is way to thick and inflexible.

  4. Leonie Andrews March 15, 2016 at 21:57 #

    Frida is looking lovely on her clothes horse. What a beautiful sewing machine – that’s quality for your (touch of sewing machine envy here).

    • Rosie Scribblah March 15, 2016 at 23:16 #

      Thank you. The machine works beautifully. It’s from 1904 and so easy to fix when it goes wrong – mechanical, not electronic

  5. susieliddle March 15, 2016 at 21:10 #

    Love these thoughts of yours and totally agree. I too am print based but I have never felt comfortable in the ‘print in a frame’ world. It’s too restrictive. I feel most at home with print when its part of an installation,albeit a significant part, which to me gives the work more real meaning. I haven’t done much over the last year or so due to family problems but now I feel inspired to get going and do more…thank you… X

  6. Michael Richards (certainline) March 15, 2016 at 20:27 #

    Wonderful, inventive way to display these prints. My Mother had a sewing machine like yours!

    • Rosie Scribblah March 15, 2016 at 20:38 #

      Thank you. I love my sewing machine. My elderly neighbour left it to me when she died, it had belonged to her mother and it dates to 1904. It works beautifully.

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