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Under Pressure

Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History will soon showcase contemporary printmaking by artists across the Wairarapa – the first exhibition of its kind at the museum.

UNDER PRESSURE Open to all Wairarapa artists of all ages and skill levels Date to submit up to 3 works, 2D or 3D: 14 February, 9am–4pm, at Masterton Art Club, 12 Victoria St, Masterton. Contact Linda Tilyard: 027 385 3679 / Works will be chosen for the exhibition by local artist Liz Bondy before 17 February Exhibition Opening: 21 February 5.30pm at Aratoi. Guest Speaker: Liz Bondy. All welcome. Public Talk with artist-organisers: 22 February 11am. All welcome. Four non-monetary prizes: Most technical, Most experimental, Best mood/atmosphere, People’s Choice as voted by the public Exhibition organisers: Local artists Nick Brandon, Jo Lysaght, Linda Tilyard Independent Selector: Local artist Liz Bondy Closing date of exhibition: 27 April

In conjunction with UNDER PRESSURE, Dutch International Mezzotint Ambassador Nan Mulder (The Netherlands) will exhibit large Mezzotint works in the Aratoi Foyer: ‘Nan Mulder – Tenderness’, 11 February – 1 March. Mulder will also run Mezzotint demonstrations in the Foyer on Saturday 22 February, from 12-2pm. All welcome.

The idea for the exhibition came about in 2017, when Print Council Aotearoa New Zealand held a nation-wide exhibition in Aratoi’s main gallery. Masterton-based print artists Linda Tilyard and Nick Brandon were so inspired that they suggested a local show to Aratoi Director Susanna Shadbolt.

Linda and Nick teamed up with printmaker Jo Lysaght to organise the logistics of a selected exhibition. They have met regularly with other print artists at Masterton Art Club, which holds print workshops, from beginner to expert, and which acquired a large, high quality etching press in 2018. When the team put out a call for expressions of interest in June 2019, the response was enthusiastic.

“We expect a huge variety, from etching, linocut and woodcut to screen print, collagraph, lithography, intaglio, and more,” said Linda Tilyard, who minored in printmaking at Ilam. “Printmaking is dear to my heart – there’s so much creative magic involved – and I can’t wait to see everyone’s work. We’ve also asked each contributing artist to bring one print scrap to create a community exhibition piece.”

Jo Lysaght, also graphic designer for the project, sees printmaking as “democratic” in that it’s an affordable art form. She likes that prints are “handmade – they don’t come out of a computer – and diverse. An etching is so different from a lino-cut which is different yet again from intaglio.”

“We titled the show ‘Under Pressure’ because most printmaking is done under pressure,” said Nick Brandon. “There’s been a lot of work – and excitement – putting this Wairarapa-wide exhibition together!”

“Aratoi is thrilled with how this project has developed,” said Susanna Shadbolt. “We are here to support the community and commend the Wairarapa print artists who enter this show.”

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