In support of the new exhibition in the Rye Art Gallery, “The Art of the Printmaker”, which opened on May 12 and is reported in this edition of Rye News, a most welcome visit was made by Roger Staton, a writer and researcher with an encyclopaedic knowledge and love of etching. To a rather small audience of about a dozen people, he shared his knowledge of a number of printmakers, in particular Dorothy Wolard, (1886 to 1986) about whom he wrote a book in 2008. She is best known for her etchings of historic buildings and street scenes in Bristol and London.
The illustrated talk greatly helped the understanding of his audience, as such a fluent and enthusiastic speaker always does, basing it on the Etching Revival, the re-emergence of etching as an original art form from around 1850 to 1930.
Two particular images were of note, of Burnham Beeches, etched 100 years apart, first by Dorothy Wolard and then by a contemporary artist and print maker, Blaze Cyan who writes “we have both been inspired by the same enduring trees and landscape”.
Roger Staton has been researching the history of etching for some 20 years, and, as well as producing two books on printmakers, the “Gallery News” tells us he runs a Twitter feed on the etching revival: “Rediscovering etching and etchers from the early 20th century (and earlier)”.
The next talk in support of this exhibition will be by Edward Twohig: “The original prints of Sir Frank Short RA, RI , PRE”, to be held on Sunday June 3 at 2pm in Studio Gallery 6. Pay on entry – £7. There is more information on the website.
Photo: Gillian Roder