International art exhibition opens at UCLan
Visitors invited to become citizens of the State of Print
An international art exhibition comprised of more than 700 cardboard boxes has landed in Preston.
State of Print is currently touring the country and is ever-evolving as artists from each city it visits contribute to it. During the Preston show, 10 print-making artists from UCLan have printed their own designs onto individual boxes that are set out in the exhibition space to represent a new ‘state’.
The idea behind the art installation, the touring of which is funded under GB18 Culture Ireland with a special focus on Irish artistic activity in Britain, is for the boxes to provide a backdrop or stage for further layers of commentary from contributing artists on a variety of topics such as governments, refugees, boarders between countries, Brexit and other, more personal messages.
All are there to prompt discussion between visitors and when members of the public visit the exhibition, they are invited to become members of the new ‘state’ to fully immerse themselves in the experience.
"The exhibition is also a celebration of all forms of print making from some very talented artists so it’s a very visual experience."
Noelle Noonan is one of the print-making artists behind the project. She said: “The state is growing all the time as we invite new artists to contribute to it. Print has always had political roots, with posters and newspapers acting as vehicles to share messages well before the internet. We want visitors to get amongst the boxes in the exhibition and really think about what society means to them.”
Fellow organiser Catherine Hehir added: “The exhibition is also a celebration of all forms of print making from some very talented artists so it’s a very visual experience.”
State of Print will be at UCLan until the 13 December in the Harrington and Greenbank Social Space on campus and is free to attend. It’s already been to Aberdeen, Dundee and Norwich and plans are in place to take it to Europe and Australia.
Tracy Hill, Research Associate from Artlab Contemporary print studios at UCLan, is responsible for bringing the exhibition to the city. She said: “We’re really excited to bring State of Print to UCLan. It’s not just an exhibition, it’s a thought experience and is a reaction against what the founding artists Catherine Hehir, Noelle Noonan, Paul Harrison and Scott Hudson and the current collective of 71 citizens see as inflexible global powers. State of Print reimagines what it means to create and be a part of a collective power.”
The UCLan exhibition is open weekdays 9.00am - 6.00pm until the 13 December. For more information about State of Print visit the State of Print website and Culture Ireland website.
*Banner picture shows, from l-r: Noelle Noonan and Catherine Hehir, organisers of the State of Print exhibition, Tracy Hill, Research Associate from Artlab Contemporary print studios at UCLan and UCLan printmaking technician Kathryn Poole