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Baskin Hughes Archive Project

Featuring : DE’s Print on Prescription group; The University of Exeter’s Arts & Culture team and Students’ Art Society; students from King Edward VI Community College, Totnes; Freefall Youth Arts Group, Exeter Phoenix; Young Masterpieces Youth Arts Group, Honiton.
October 2011- March 2012
Funded by Heritage Lottery Fund

This was an exciting collaborative project that brought together a wide range of participants and organisations. It used printmaking and poetry to inspire new work as well as to help young people learn to curate and manage their own exhibitions.

The inspiration was the Ted Hughes’ collection of Leonard Baskin prints and the two artists’ correspondence held at the the University of Exeter’s Special Collections. The powerful relationship between Hughes and Baskin created beautiful complex works. We wanted to look at this fantastic collection on our doorstep and explore how these artists of different media found a common ground and inspired each other to greater heights.

The participants visited the collection and used the prints and letters as a starting point to create a multitude of prints in varying processes (drypoint, lino, woodcut, lithography) as well as a film screening and talk with Noel Chanon who filmed Baskin and Hughes’ collaboration.

The Print on Prescription participants worked for the first time on a shared large-scale linocut and relished the opportunity to use this collection as inspiration. Their work, alongside prints created by the Art Society students formed the exhibition, Crow Dialogue at The Ariel Centre, Totnes.

A second exhibition, Based on Baskin, was held at Kay House, University of Exeter, featuring the work of the young people’s groups as well as reproductions of Baskin prints. DEPW’s role was also to support the undergraduates to deliver printmaking workshops for younger students and to curate and hang this show.

A lasting impact from the project has been artist Steven Paige’s 2012-13 residency at DEPW using the Baskin Hughes archive. His work will be exhibited at the Forum at Exeter University in Autumn 2013.

Print on Prescription’s large scale piece is now on show at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

Comments from participants:

“The project was extremely rewarding; having the rare opportunity to see such great artwork in its original form.”

“This has been such a valuable experience, I have most enjoyed learning new print techniques and then being able to pass them on to other people.”

“I’ve been really inspired by Baskin’s portraits, especially the distortion of their bodies. I enjoyed experimenting with different types of printing.”

Handcrafted by Rock Kitchen Harris