Ulster University

Kip Gresham

Festival Studio Artist, Printmaking

  1. Thursday 12 March
  2. 16:00
  3. Ulster University, Belfast Campus, York St.

We are delighted to be joined by master printer, publisher and artist Kip Gresham as our Festival Studio Artist.

The nature of materials carries great importance in Kip’s work. He investigates the gap between intention and result by employing methods of supreme control as well as total lack of control.

In his drawings, Kip has worked in graphite and varnish, the graphite pencil being the simplest of tools yet acute in revealing the hand of the artist through the marks. Varnish is transparent and Kip has used this material by drawing without touching the paper. The resulting visual dialogue between the acute and the uncontrollable is compelling. The underlying intention of each image is exactly the same and in effect Kip is making each drawing twice, layer upon layer.

There is an obsessive aspect to Kip’s practice in which the materials are combined with repetitive marks and familiar shapes. His works are enigmatic, mysterious, familiar and transcendent.

Kip has established several influential and highly productive printmaking studios and publishing houses, each driven by his technical skills, experimentation and creative collaboration.

In 1975, after his Postgraduate study at Manchester Polytechnic, Kip set up the Manchester Print Workshop with fellow printmaker Steve Currie. It was an important experimental forum with new techniques and materials being tested.

Leaving Manchester for Cambridge in 1982, Kip set up The Chilford Hall Press. The studio made its mark immediately with many subtle works for artists including a remarkable group of large prints for Elisabeth Frink.

In 1994 Kip set up Gresham Studio at Duxford just outside Cambridge. Its first big project was the Jesus College Portfolio featuring John Bellany, Barry Flanagan, John Hoyland, Albert Irvin, Kim Lim, Richard Long, John McLean, David Mach, Eduardo Paolozzi and William Turnbull. This was rapidly followed by The Freud Museum ‘Folio including work by Peter Blake, Patrick Caulfied, Prunella Clough, Susan Hiller, Matthew Hilton, Joseph Kosuth, Claes Oldenburg, Cornelia Parker, Alison Watt and Paul Wunderlich.

The Studio was amazingly productive and work with Bryan Pierce, Alfred Cohen, Matthew Hilton, Patrick Procktor, Paula Rego, Trevor Sutton and many others kept the presses busy. There were strong links to the U.S.A. and all was going well.

In 2001, 9/11 stalled the international market and coincidentally Kip became very ill with an auto-immune disease. After difficult deliberations it was decided to close the studio.

After a year of chemotherapy, and to everyone’s surprise, the illness was overcome and plans were laid to start again from scratch. In 2002 The Print Studio was born, which has since gone from strength to strength.

Kip will be working alongside Ulster University printmakers Janet Preston and Bill Penney to produce a body of work for Festival 2015. His informal talk will include an interview with Bill Penney and a showing of the work he has created across the week.

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