LOOK UP NORTH / THE HEPWORTH PRINT FAIR
A vast industrial space filled to the rafters with prints and printmakers, deep fried pizza for lunch, a fantastic gallery – in Yorkshire, no less – and an endless stream of visitors... Yep, we're still buzzing from the good vibes at last weekend's Hepworth Print Fair.
We were delighted when our application to take part in this year's Hepworth Print Fair received a big, fat YES. On one hand, we were excited because Look Up founder Steven Bateman is a Yorkshire lad, Bradford born and bred – despite living in London for, ahem, 21 years. Moreover, we'd been dying to take our collection on the road so we could showcase the artists involved in our fledgling gallery and here we were. on the eve of our art fair debut. Yikes! Having packed everything into the Mini (easier said than done) we journeyed up the A1, set up our stand and prepared for the unknown...
The Look Up stand at last weekend's Hepworth Print Fair
Thursday evening's private view came and went in a flurry of caffeine-fuelled conversations as we braced ourselves for the next three days. It's natural to have nerves, but as soon as we started meeting the other stall holders, the nerves settled down a little. We knew we were in good company. On Friday morning, the doors opened and things moved up a gear. We met some fantastic people and had some great conversations, as passersby started to engage with the colourful prints on our stand. Artists, students, collectors, fellow stallholders, Hepworth staff, photographers, curious weekend warriors… you name them, we had a chat. People seemed to be enjoying our display, which featured new editions by Nounua and the latest addition to our roster, Katy Binks, alongside silkscreened gems by Kate Banazi, Frea Buckler, Giuseppe D'Innella, Josie Molloy, Sophie Smallhorn, and Touching Elbows – the collaborative project of Kate Gibb and William Luz.
A riot of colour – silkscreen prints by Touching Elbows
Will and Kate were launching Touching Elbows at the fair and (we're saying this without a shred of bias, honest) their stand looked fantastic. They're launching their website very soon (we'll keep you posted) but in the meantime you can find out more about their working process here – and you can keep tabs on their progress via Instagram. We were also delighted to share the fair with our favourite risograph gallery, Yuck Print House. They've got some fantastic artists involved with plenty more to come, and there's even some crossover between the two of us – William Luz, Kate Gibb and Supermundane have all created editions exclusively for both Yuck and Look Up. How lucky are we!
Yuck Print House – our favourite purveyors of risograph magic
There are too many stands to mention here, but we really enjoyed meeting the guys at Colours May Vary, seeing the work of Sheffield print collective APG Works, checking out Hannah Waldron's amazing silk scarves and Laura Knight's sandblasted Jesmonite coasters, as well as Laura Slater, Pica Studio, Marko, Sean Mort, Pica Studio, Zillah Bell Galleries, Kerry Day and many, many more. We had some great neighbours too, including Paper Gallery from Manchester, Ruth Allen from Stafford, Manchester-based Amy Rodchester, Galerie Simpson from Swansea, Aidan Saunders and his roving VW caddy-based Print Wagon, and local artist and designer Ali Appleby.
So great to see people enjoying the Look Up collection
We'd like to thank everybody who came to the fair, and we're also extending our sincere gratitude to John, Matt, Charlotte and everybody at the Hepworth Gallery who made the print fair such a fun, positive experience. Personally, I can't wait to go back to Wakefield and spend a day wandering around the Hepworth itself, maybe combining it with a visit to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park – arguably one of the finest cultural destinations in Europe. We saw some pretty vast crowds milling around the Hepworth itself, so they're definitely doing something right there, and they are absolutely 100% doing something right with the Hepworth Print Fair. Hopefully we'll do it again next year, but if not we'll definitely try and visit, because fairs such as this are essential to printmakers and small independent galleries like ours.
Thanks for having us Hepworth Print Fair. You've created a fantastic platform for printmakers, independent galleries and grass roots creativity, and that's something we look forward to saluting and celebrating for many years to come.