The Porthminster Gallery, in Fore Street, St Ives, is opening its 2024 exhibition programme on 10th February with a show called Limited Edition: Original Artist Prints.

Porthminster Old Stones
The Old Stones 2023, a linocut print by Melvyn Evans

It’s an informative selling show, for aspiring and seasoned collectors, of affordable signed and editioned original prints by established contemporary artists. There will also be museum-quality prints by 20th century St Ives and British names.

So what is an original artist’s print? Well, it’s work of art made in multiple iterations, created through a direct transfer. Printmaking techniques include etching, engraving, lithography, silkscreen, linocut, and woodcut. ‘Prints’ are regarded, in general, as being only copies of original artworks, and not original artworks themselves. To help dispel this misconception, the gallery set out to curate this appealing and accessible exhibition to celebrate the rich diversity of traditional printmaking techniques.

Artists featured in the show will include:

  • Trevor Price: an award-winning St Ives-based artist printmaker, whose Cornish roots inspire masterful monochrome relief engravings, etchings, and linocut prints. Scenes of St Ives Bay and Barbara Hepworth’s garden are key themes in his works.
  • Melvyn Evans: one of Britain’s finest printmakers, whose bold, semi-abstract linocut prints are inspired by his deep connection to landscape, and his fascination with the traces left by its ancient peoples. Even so, his works exude a ‘mid-century modern’ vibe.
  • Sally Spens: an internationally exhibited, Cornwall-based artist and printmaker, whose exquisite, intricate etchings are influenced by the artist’s designs for Japanese kimonos, and by Japanese culture.

The exhibition also features signed editioned prints by Modern 20th century names, including: etchings by Albert Irvin, Ben Nicholson, David Hockney, and Victor Pasmore; silkscreen prints by Patrick Heron and Sandra Blow; and lithographs by Barbara Hepworth, among others.

Co-curator of the new show and gallery manager, Catherine Lewin, said: “I originally trained as a painter, but I’ve always had a passion for prints and printmaking. They [prints] present the affordable opportunity, for young people especially, to start a collection of signed original artworks by recognised artists – without four-figure price tags – and with the Own Art 0% APR purchase scheme, there’s never been a better time to start collecting!”

Limited Edition: Original Artist Prints runs until 23rd March at the Porthminster Gallery.