Oh, for the freedom to hop on a plane for a trip overseas to make new work and meet new people. It seems like a half-remembered dream. Although inconvenient, for the artists featured in Printing in Dutch, a new exhibition at The Gallery at Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury, the abrupt stop to international travel over the last year hasn’t stopped collaboration across vast distances. “We’re used to communications with friends and collaborators from afar, ” says Ed Catley, curator and contributor. A showcase of recent work by artists linking and/or working in the Netherlands, Printing in Dutch represents more than a collection or artwork made during the pandemic. “During these challenging times, we have all provided support and encouragement to each other, and friendships made before lockdown have only grown stronger. This show is a result of keeping in touch and staying positive about better days to come,” explains Ed.
Even though platforms to show work have diminished, many printmakers have increased their output over the last year and creativity has flourished. Of the Printing in Dutch artists, Peim van der Sloot was able to complete a residency at AGA LAB between lockdowns, Lawrence Grimm collaborated remotely with Risopop to reword his famous Teatime for a Universe cartoons in colour, and fien Jorissen has been working non-stop providing illustrations for newspapers and magazines. Featuring work by Ed Catley, Thomas Gravemaker, Beck Howson, Leanna McAlpine, Jaco Putker, Emma Verhulst and Wasco, who have exhibited internationally in the past, Printing in Dutch promises to draw on the rich print history of the Netherlands and reflect contemporary Dutch printmaking as it looks to the future. “There is so much enthusiasm,” says Ed, “It feels like we’re helping to get culture back on track. Having this opportunity to reach out to fellow artists and focus on better times together, it’s enriched my life. Dankjewel.”
The Gallery, Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury UK from 8th May – 21st July 2021