Print into art

If printmaking seems to be always about work, work, work, then why not call a halt for a moment and consider its myriad possibilities as a thread of artistic practice? Four designers who use printing techniques heavily in their conceptual work join together for a new exhibition at London Printworks. The results are pleasingly diverse. Fiona Zobole’s large-scale prints are beautiful arrangements of typography, freed from the tyrannical task of delivering loaded statements. In fact, they’re about Zobole’s relationship with reading as she experiences diminishing sight. The three-dimensionality of the sculpted letters recalls the physical beauty of Braille, and her words are heavy with a resigned sense of loss. Gunilla Klingberg, a Swedish artist who often uses printed matter in her work, is showing Spar Loop, a video animation featuring more than 10 000 stills of supermarket logos, their mundane ubiquity transformed into elegantly morphing graphic patterns. A socio-political message lies behind Rhian Soloman’s series of post-operative suits worn by female patients of plastic surgery, but although her printed, stitched and lasered-on words pour doubt on the ethics of cosmetic enhancement, she concedes that with medical reconstructive surgery playing an important role, the subject is far from straightforward. Her medium is well-chosen, her message rather haunting. These printmakers’ experimentations are far from tomorrow’s chip wrappers.

Departure/ Further Explorations in Print runs until 27 October at London Printworks, Unit 7, Brighton House, 9 Brighton Terrace, London SW9

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