Double Elephant Print Workshop
Exeter Phoenix, Bradninch Place,
Gandy Street, Exeter, EX4 3LS
Padbrooke Park Hotel
Involving Padbrook Park Hotel, Collumpton Community College, Willowbank Primary School, St. Andrews Primary School and Duchy Primary School / January – August 2005
Funded by Padbrook Park Hotel
In 2005, Double Elephant Print Workshop (DEPW) was approached by local hotel owner Sue Scargill with an exciting commission.
About to open a new Golf and Country Club in the heart of the Culm Valley, Sue wanted to work with DEPW to create artwork for the hotel bedrooms. Keen to avoid purchasing a series of generic and forgettable reproduction prints, Sue’s idea was to involve local young people in the creative process, and to make bespoke artwork that reflected the hotel’s facilities.
We took our portable print workshop into four local schools, and using the sporting activities of the hotel as the theme, helped the students create individual collagraph plates. This resulted in hundreds of wonderful and imaginative scenes featuring golf, archery, darts, fishing, football and bowling.
Sue chose several from each school and DEPW master editioner Lynn Bailey set about editioning eight multi-coloured viscosity prints from each of the selected plates using archival paper, high quality relief inks and a colour palette to match the hotel’s furnishings.
What was unique about this project was not only did it result in original high quality artwork for the hotel but it also gave hundreds of local children the chance to enjoy printmaking and to keep their own prints and collagraph plates.
The prints still hang in the rooms and unlike many venues’ reproduction artworks, they don’t fade, date or merge into forgettable wall art. They all have an individual charm and spontaneity, and the Hotel guests see authentic children’s artwork created under the guidance of skilled printmakers.
As Sue originally hoped, many of the local young people themselves use the hotel – for the sporting facilities, family celebrations, 18th birthdays and even weddings. As she intended, the ethos of this community minded hotel informed even the art on its walls.