Raymond Henshaw
Belfast Print Workshop
3rd Floor Cotton Court Building
32 – 42 Waring Street
Northern Ireland
Telephone: 0044 77405 120 37

Table-Top Portfolio Presentation: "Prints from the Belfast Print Workshop"

Ireland stands at the furthest westerly edge of Europe, the country physically and symbolically positioned at the end of European landmass and cultural thinking. If one stands on the top of the ‘cliffs of Mohir’ looking across the Atlantic the next stop will be America, looking east the whole of Europe awaits. What role has this Island has to play in the new collective European union.

This table-top presentation will offer a selection of artists working in Ireland today, responding to the idea of Ireland as the most westerly tip of Europe. The work will be curated by invitation, focusing on artists whose work encompasses engagement with social politic, reflecting the diversity of issues currently circulating Ireland and Europe. I will highlight artists who utilize a variety of working materials under the umbrella of contemporary printed media.

Artists working in Ireland within the last thirty years have continually engaged with social politic, investigating their identity within the colonial historical framework and in relation to Europe. The issue of borders, physical, psychological and political are a part of this communities every day existence. The community has dealt with and comprehended the presence imposed by the occupier, political barriers that favor one part of the community over the other because of religious difference. It has over come and developed a sophisticated collective perception of how to live and express ideas and needs, both at home and internationally.

Artists have played a significant part in this comprehension; the subtleties of the symbolic uncovered and displayed for the realities lying behind. Artists continue their valued role as demystifier and conjuror and along with long pursued notions of identity, new issues of have arisen, emigration changing to immigration, multi ethnicity, the rise of consumerism, have become preoccupations brought about as a consequence of the newly defined "Celtic Tiger” economic boom. These new elements add to the flux of social politic and are examined in detail by artists working today.

RAYMOND HENSHAW is an artist based in the Northern Ireland. He has been a member of a variety of organizations including Flaxart, Paragon studios, and currently Belfast Print Workshop, where he has been a member of the board for the last four years. Amongst many duties at the latter he recently established the Belfast-Johannesburg artists exchange program. He studied in England, where he received a Ma and BA in Painting. He has received numerous awards from a variety of institutions including, The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, British Council, Department of Foreign Affairs. He has completed numerous commissions, Royal Hospitals Belfast, currently completing work for South East Belfast Trust. Published "Time & Motion” with historian Seamus Lynch on Irish identity. Given workshops and teaching posts, in Europe and Africa, currently employed at Newry Institute, Northern Ireland, teaching across 4 courses in the Art department. His recent work has focused on elements of social politic and is explored across a variety of mediums, but chiefly printmaking and photography. This work has been exhibited throughout Ireland, Europe, Africa and USA including, Fenderesky Gallery, Old Museum, Queens University, Belfast, Project Arts Centre, Original Print Gallery, Dublin, Ithaca, New York State, In Bag Factory Johannesburg, Rhodes University Cape Town (Impact 2003) and Free State University Bloemfontein, South Africa, In Cite Des Arte, Paris, Barcelona, and Hanover, and other locations chiefly across Europe.