Carinna Parraman
Centre for Fine Print Research,
University of the West of England,
Kennel Lodge Road, Bristol, UK
Telephone: +44 (0)117 328 4770


Portfolio Presentation: “Boxing Clever"
Paper Proposal: “The Collaborative Print as Visual Debate"
Paper: “(Re)-Invention, Revolution in Print”

Portfolio Presentation: “Boxing Clever"

This table-top portfolio presentation will present selected works from the European student competition based on the investigation of the relationship of image, design and paper engineering. The paper engineering can range from a pop-up book or card to a printed three-dimensional box or carton. The intention is to enable the delegates to print copies of the designs and make the paper constructions. The invitation is posted on the conference web site for all delegates.

Size was the only limitation. The flattened art and design ideas had to fit into a maximum of an A3 sheet, which was also suitable for copying or scanning. With all the ideas, artwork, elements that went into the construction along with directions for making on the same side of the A3 page to be able to cut, fold and construct the three dimensional artifact.

The deadline for the competition for schools was at the end of February 2005. Schools submitted their most innovative and visually interesting selection. The best were photographed and included in the artists’ portfolio and was first shown at the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol. The portfolio will also be exhibited in Europe and America and Hewlett Packard Labs.

Although the 1st Boxing Clever has come to a close, a second Boxing Clever competition and exhibition is proposed for artists and students from Berlin, Poznan and European countries. All the works from the first exhibition will be included, enabling schools from the United Kingdom to show their work again.

The requirement therefore for us to be able to process the work, is for the invitations are sent as soon as delegates register for the conference. The artwork would be sent to UWE, which would be scanned or uploaded as PDF files onto the University website.  The original artworks will be exhibited at Impact with the option for delegates to make the paper constructions whilst at the conference.  I could either bring pre printed A3 copies, or for an A3 color printer to be made available at the conference. See the web site at:
Paper: “The Collaborative Print Exchange as Visual Debate”
Print exchanges and collaborative portfolios are and have been a long and celebrated method of facilitating a visual dialogue between countries, academics and artist communities, by taking a simple idea of producing an edition of work that is based on a theme, a size, a process; thus enabling exchange between participating artists and facilitating new relationships and ideas.
For the artist printmaker, already methodologically used to working and making art that is based on serality, the portfolio is a useful means of developing and presenting an idea. The collaborative portfolio is non hierarchical: a piece of work by a student can be viewed alongside a practicing artist of long standing, therefore encouraging the student to look, investigate and develop their work along side their peers and contemporaries. It is portable, an entire exhibition can be carried in a box, therefore the transportable nature of the portfolio can visually challenge and facilitate debate. Furthermore traditional exchanges, enables international artists to ‘touch base’, to keep in touch with a global network of contemporaries.
However, the collaborative portfolio constrains the artist to one theme. Therefore the concept is embedded with good and bad points: that one is constrained by a size or a theme that is perhaps not part of the artist’s professional practice and therefore is a out of the artist’s interest. The work is out of context, that is no consequence to the artist and therefore the image, and quality of the print work appears mediocre and moribund. It can be regarded as a ‘mixed bag’ or a ‘bargain basement’ approach in which all artworks are pulled to one level, without any care other than appearing as a homogenous mass of art.
This presentation will provide a historical context drawing from portfolios and collaborative print projects that are held at Tate archive in Britain and how these have shaped methods of art production, as exampled by Schools Prints, which were presented to schools and factories as a means of educating post war masses; the more Eurocentric Eurominiprotopack (1969); and the London Portfolio (1992) a portable group exhibition containing work by ‘Brit Pack’ artists. The presentation will also look at portfolios that have cultural, social or political implications, as exampled by the Human Rights Portfolio, which is a response to the 1996 South African Bill of Rights. Artists were invited to create a black and white print of one of the 27 clauses of the new Bill of Rights.
The Centre for Fine print research has maintained an annual print exchange and will be celebrating its 20th miniature print portfolio exchange this year.  Following from this, I have used the theme to produce an International Mini Print Portfolio (2000) and with collaboration with HP Art and Science a novel exploration into portfolio ventures that include invited artists, students and school children to participate in a variety of new themes. A contemporary venture is @rt Exchange, that brings together school communities from Europe to exchange art and ideas through simple themes, which is presented on the World Wide Web.
The presentation will also provide a context to the exhibition proposal for this conference. The most recent is entitled Boxing Clever, artists and students were invited to investigate the same theme: the relationship of paper engineering and print. The exhibition will show the results.

Paper: “(Re)-Invention, Revolution in Print”

This paper will investigate the development of print from the 1960's and how two print studios followed quite different exploratory routes: Tyler Graphics working on the mechanisation of the autographic mark and Kelpra Studios investigating the relationship between the photomechanical and screenprint. Both studios demonstrated how through dialogue, collaboration and the use of novel technology, innovative artworks were produced, and possibly exceeded expectation. If produced in isolation in the artist’s studio, these works might not have been achievable.

Richard Hamilton has said "In accordance with my practice of setting no limits on subject matter, nor stylistic languages of expression, I see no virtue in circumscribing the technical means of realization. The image will always be more important than the rationale of its execution." (New Technology and Printmaking, exhibition catalogue, Alan Cristea, London, 1998, p.7)

From the 1960's print practice in the United Kingdom and America was defined by technical innovation, through large print studios, through gaining recognition for high quality cutting-edge artworks that were considered as integral to the artist’s creative repertoire, and exploration of the idea through image. Prints were considered then, and will remain, with ambivalence. Print is tied to process, to technique and to large (often heavy) equipment to make it. However, what is the long and continuing fascination for print that still attracts artists to this medium? For most artists who make prints, printmaking is not just about an extension of their creative repertoire nor as a means of making a fast buck, but through the often long and protracted means of making an image, there is encapsulated a different philosophical and methodological approach to making: through collaboration, innovation and invention. Furthermore, in the twenty-first century, the printed image has been reinvented with the introduction of digital technology: to turn a digital idea to printed pixels. The printmaker is again, called upon to exercise a new innovative approach to printmaking. The opening statement by Hamilton, whose own art practice has spanned 6 decades and has utilized the entire range of printmaking from drypoint to inkjet, illustrates the versatility and adaptability of the artist printmaker; and who is not constrained by what has been ostensibly industrial processes, but is fascinated with the methods inherent in the process of making.

CARRINA PARRAMAN is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Fine Print Research, University of the West of England. Parraman's research interest spans art, science and education. Her interest in the science of art has developed through digital imaging and inkjet technologies, which has resulted in an investigation of artists’ methods for printing, the archival qualities of ink and paper and the investigation of screenprinted colour prints of the 1960's to inform inkjet colour printing methods. A proportion of this research is influenced by her work at the Prints and Drawings Department at Tate Britain, where Carinna is collaborating with the Department to catalogue the contemporary prints. She continues to work with Hewlett Packard on a number of research projects. She has presented papers at both science and art conferences including Color Imaging Conference USA, Institute of Physics, CADE (Computers and Art Design Education), Southern Graphics Council Conference USA, and IMPACT print conferences.