Sevenoaks will be playing host to local, national and international visitors from May 23rd to June 10th this year as it launches its first Festival of Contemporary Printmaking, founded by Christina France Crews FRSA.
In association with France’s national Fête de l’Estampe which takes place on the 26th May each year, Sevenoaks Kaleidescope Gallery will host this European initiative, extending the day long celebrations over twenty days.
As our world embraces the digital age, artificial intelligence and communication through social media, the role of traditional forms of making art can appear anachronistic. What are the inherent qualities of the processes used in traditional printmaking that make it a meaningful activity? Why engage in traditional printmaking, it can't be about reproduction - so what is it about? Are the inherent limitations of materials used and their influence in creating the image important?
Just as photography did not spell the end for traditional graphic media, so digital technologies have not replaced other methods but rather extended choice and capacity. Printmaking is often a collaborative activity and workshops and studios have played a crucial role in the development of artists' ideas around print.
PrintFest7 looks at the role of the artist printmaker in today’s world. Distinguished guest artists will exhibit a wide range of work from the experimental to the traditional, showcasing the very best of printmaking in the UK today. Students from local schools, nonprofessional printmakers and emerging artists will exhibit collectively. Interactive demonstrations, workshops, and a programme of talks will offer visitors of all ages an insight into the practice of printmaking.
Integral to the festival is the community. Kent County Council Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope Gallery is run as an artist led space by Sevenoaks Visual Arts Forum (SVAF). It actively promotes and engages with artists’ collaboration projects and formulates interactive community and school projects in the Gallery. The programme is diverse and raises the profile of art in West Kent.