KABOOM! HONITON! - Vibrant and varied

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:36 31 July 2018

Honiton Toy Shop. Picture: Ross Penwill

Honiton Toy Shop. Picture: Ross Penwill

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Printmaker Ross Penwill will be highlighting Honiton’s businesses in his exhibition in August

Power Shoes. Picture: Ross PenwillPower Shoes. Picture: Ross Penwill

Artist printmaker Ross Penwill will be opening an exhibition of his work in the Red Room at Boston Tea Party, in Honiton.

Entitled KABOOM! HONITON! it is a series of 13 contemporary silkscreen prints inspired by Honiton’s shops, pubs, stalls and galleries.

Ross lives in Honiton with his partner, Emma, and their two children, having moved to the town in 2011 and it is the first significant exhibition of his prints since his degree show 20 years ago.

He said: “When I booked the exhibition space for my show at Boston Tea Party in January this year, I was thinking of displaying some work I’d already produced but when the booking was confirmed, I knew immediately that I had to use the opportunity to produce a series of works more closely linked to the local community.

lcaemakers Cafe. Picture: Ross Penwilllcaemakers Cafe. Picture: Ross Penwill

“I love living so close to the town centre and enjoy wandering Honiton’s High Street with its vibrant and varied independent businesses and to reflect that I wanted to work in a variety of styles to produce a series of prints that were visually both interesting and exciting.”

Ross completed a fine art degree specialising in printmaking in Cheltenham and found silkscreen printing most closely complemented his artistic style and with its myriad stages, the way he enjoyed working.

Over the next 15 years, he followed many different creative paths, including painting and film making but soon after moving to Honiton he joined the Double Elephant Print Studio in Exeter and his love for silkscreen printing was reborn.

He said: “I remain a member of Double Elephant where I enjoy the company and drive of fellow artists, but I have found the convenience of my own studio increasingly compelling and it is from that small but perfectly equipped place that I now produce my silkscreen prints, alongside my full-time occupation as a freelance traffic order maker.”

Lacemaker cafe. Picture: Ross PenwillLacemaker cafe. Picture: Ross Penwill

Describing the process, he said: “The process I follow combines equal measures of drawing, computer and physical/mechanical activities.

“Most of my prints begin with a pencil sketch which eventually makes its way on to a computer where I use various techniques to produce printable templates, each representing a colour layer that I transfer to the silkscreen using a photo process of bright lights and a photo-sensitive emulsion applied to the screen.

“The silkscreen layers are built up on heavy, textured printmaking paper one colour layer at a time, the layers often being combined to produce additional colours and tonal changes, all lined-up by eye - a part of the process that is as challenging as it is rewarding.

“I find silkscreen printing particularly appealing as it enables me to transfer an expressive whilst manipulated hand-drawn line to a final print, something I haven’t found possible with other traditional printmaking techniques such as etching and lithography.”

Honiton Sports. Picture: Ross PenwillHoniton Sports. Picture: Ross Penwill

KABOOM! HONITON! A series of 13 contemporary silkscreen prints by local artist printmaker Ross Penwill, inspired by Honiton’s shops, pubs, stalls and galleries will be in The Red Room, Boston Tea Party, 53 High St, Honiton EX14 1PW from August 25 to November 21 and entry is free.

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