In February 2012 I was awarded Fife Contemporary Arts and Crafts funding to develop a Mobile Print Unit during a residency at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop in Aberdeenshire. Here is the outline proposal and some images of the Unit in progress.
Within this project I will design and make a Mobile Print Unit that will be transported by bicycle to different locations within a 30 mile radius of Newport-on-Tay, and by train or car to locations further afield. The Mobile Print Unit will be housed in a bicycle trailer and contain simple printmaking facilities (for basic, chemical-free screen printing and relief printing processes) tailored specifically for the exploration of sustainability issues with a range of different ages and groups in exhibition, community, educational, and festival settings.
The Unit itself, whilst being transported, will be designed to act as an art-work in motion. It will be inviting to look at, encouraging questions and participation. The different components within the Unit will be designed to fit together in such a way as to make the unpacking of the Mobile Print Unit something beautiful to watch, and performative in nature.
The Mobile Print Unit is an idea that I have been considering for several years. I am very inspired by the work of the Mexican printmaking workshop – the Taller de Grafica Popular (TGP) founded in 1937 by a group of artists who worked together to create images responding directly to the particular needs and issues of their community, using the democratic medium of print. I am also informed by the work of Sister Corita Kent (1918-1986), in particular her work with groups to create colourful festivals using many screen printed elements, and her prints celebrating the bounty of the world, reclaiming slogans of food advertising for a deeper and more sustainable celebration of Creation. The TGP and Sister Corita Kent both worked collaboratively and used printmaking mediums as vehicles for engagement and dialogue with pressing issues. I would see the creation of the Mobile Print Unit as inspired by this artistic legacy, and as putting some of these ideas for democratic and socially engaged working practices literally on wheels.
Here it is in the process of being made:
And here is the Mobile Print Unit complete and on its first outing to the Lyon Street Community Garden visioning day:
With DUO at the Flower and Food Festival 2013:
And at the Scottish Print Festival 2013: