In October 2013, printmaker Hugh Ribbans ran his first linocut printing workshop at Creek Creative in Faversham, Kent with six pupils: Jan Ashworth, Wendy Broer, John Cackett, Nikki Chesterman, Anne MacLaren and Mike Roberts.
It was so enjoyable, the band of six Creek Printmakers decided to meet monthly to make prints at Creek Creative, helping and advising each other as they continued to learn.
Additional to the original six, Magz Roberts had encouraged some of the group on freer forms of printmaking such as monotype and collagraph and was welcomed into the group as the seventh member.
Lino cutting is a new and very different discipline for me.
It is challenging, but I have been hugely inspired and encouraged by Hugh Ribbans whose course our group enrolled on in 2013. Being part of Creek Printmakers is both a creative and a social pleasure.
Since moving to Kent I have been influenced by the orchards and fields and variety of crops grown here and even the wind break hedges that surround them. Although not so pleased to see the ever increasing polytunnel invasion.
I print using a variety of methods including lino cuts, silk screen and collagraph prints. Each print is individual as I continue to experiment with colour and texture. I also work in other media and will be exhibiting as part of the East Kent Open Houses this autumn. Wendy Broer website
My main interest remains abstract painting on a large scale. As a complete contrast I attended Hugh Ribbans’ highly instructive and enjoyable Lino Cutting Course at Creek Creative. This has led to a much more controlled and figurative output – and on a much smaller scale.
For me a very different discipline which I think has influenced my work for the better.
Nikki Chesterman: My early childhood was spent in a time well before global communication on the edge of wilderness in Africa, Arabia and South America, punctuated by stints in Dickensian boarding schools back in England. I picked up a camera at six when I was excited by seeing a line of camels drinking at a trough and noticed the pattern that their extended necks made. I have never looked back.
Although art was never included in my curriculum at school I have practised nearly all creative pursuits over the years.
An imaginative birthday present brought me to Hugh Ribbans’ first set of workshops and an opportunity to play with patterns and shapes again.
The linocut prints that I have been working on realise part of a long-held ambition to document all of Abbey Street, Faversham in print.
I have managed to make my way down one side of the street from Creek Creative to The Globe and, when time allows, will make a similar journey down the other.
Magz Roberts: I studied Textile Design at Liverpool College of Art and, after gaining a BA (Hons) degree, worked in the printed textile industry as a designer and colourist. A love of colour and pattern has remained an integral part of my own creative artwork.
I am inspired by landscape and excited by my new surroundings of Faversham: the creek and salt marshes, boatyards and coastline.
All my collagraphs and screen prints are Unique Prints. They are individually hand-printed and each one is different. Even when the same plate or screen is used for several prints, the inking up and colour will be different for each print. I prefer working in an experimental way rather than producing limited editions. Magz Roberts website
After retiring from commissioned work, I moved to Faversham in 2012 where I first encountered the linocuts of Hugh Ribbans. His wonderful prints rekindled a desire in me to take up printmaking.
My ideas usually start as a doodle on a scrap of paper or notepad. The best doodles are when only half my mind – if that – is noticing what I’m drawing. The rest of my mind is occupied by things like the telephone call I’m in the middle of, especially if I’m ‘on hold’. Mike Roberts website