Carl Rowe
Subject Leader - Printmaking & Photo-media
Norwich School of Art and Design
Francis House
3-7 Redwell Street
Norwich, Norfolk NR2 4SN UK.

Portfolio Presentation: “Print Portfolios from the Norwich School of Art & Design: Currency, Talk, DIY and Love/Hate”

The task of producing an annual portfolio of prints was introduced to printmaking students at Norwich School of Art & Design in 2002. The intention was not to enforce skill in editioning but rather to introduce the notion of multiplicity and the implications of working outside of a commercial and monetary economy in favor of exchange and barter.

Students and staff are invited to make relatively small editions based on a theme. The material and process is broad but must support mechanical reproduction. From the editioned works, five complete collections are assembled in archival quality boxes. These five-boxed sets are donated to institutions that are prepared to house them in their library and make them available to their students and staff. The remaining works are the property of the student and they exchange with each other. They are required to produce at least five works (for the five boxed editions) but are free to produce as many or as few as they wish for exchange. It is at this point that consideration for the commodity value of their work takes place – do they want to produce enough copies to exchange with every other participant or would they prefer to remain exclusive in the dissemination of their work.

The four portfolios produced to date have been a successful exercise and experience for students. The questions raised through the project are pertinent to issues at the centre of commodity value and systems of production in an increasingly neo-liberal world.

Future developments of the project could be achieved through collaboration with partner institutions. The Internet could play a key role in the exchange of works on a truly global scale, utilizing relatively inexpensive methods of dissemination. We would be happy to accommodate any interest from other institutions.

CARL ROWE received his MA and BA degrees in printmaking  from the Manchester Polytechnic. He has been the subject leader in printmaking and photo-media at the Norwich School of Art and Design since 2001.  He had prior teaching appointments at the University of Surrey Roehampton,  North East London Polytechnic, and the Drumcroon Art Center, Wigan. His recent solo exhibitions include “Domestic Haz-Chem”, Phoenix Arts, Leicester (2003) and “H2O”, Shoreditch Gallery, London (2001). His work was included in the “Wrexham Print International”, Wrexham Art Centre (2005).