Catching up with Past Prize Winners
Please introduce yourself and tell us about the prize you won from GreatArt:
We are a group of printmakers who meet regularly at Canolfan Edward Richard community centre, Ystrad Meurig, in rural Ceredigion, to practise all kinds of printmaking – linocuts to lithographs and anything in between – in an informal, friendly way. Our members come from a wide surrounding area because the facilities we offer, such as use of a rolling press and other printing equipment, are so rarely available.
Since winning the GreatArt award in 2013 we have been very active. We have again taken part in the Ceredigion Art Trail with an exhibition and workshops at our own venue, HAUL organization (for the Arts in Health) has twice commissioned a group show at Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth, and we regularly participate in local fairs. Our members also exhibit as individuals, and with other groups.
Do you remember how you felt when you found out you’d won?
It was the first time we had entered any competition and we could hardly believe our luck!
We felt delighted and invigorated. It was an honour to have GreatArt come such a long way to present us with our vouchers; the occasion gave us a new sense of achievement and strengthened our identity as a group.
GreatArt is doing a considerable service to artists in supporting our work in this way, and we feel most grateful.
How did you spend your prize vouchers?
This one is easy to answer! Paper and inks. Printing uses a great deal of both. Printmaking papers come in a wide variety of types, suitable for diverse techniques, and having a wide range of possibilities gives us a rare chance to experiment freely. Also, since we offer finished work for sale, we need to use good-quality, acid-free paper. For the same reason we use inks of a professional standard.
How would you say winning the prize has benefited your work?
In practical terms, by helping us with a supply of materials the prize has allowed us freedom to diversify and expand our skills, to try innovative techniques and develop our work in new directions.
Being featured in your magazine also gave us a sense of pride and has contributed greatly to our self-confidence as a group. We feel sure that this is reflected in the quality of our work.
What are you currently working on?
This is the Year of the Legend in Wales, so we are working on the theme of ‘Legends of Ceredigion’ for an open event in the summer. We would also like to run a weekend of workshops concurrently, but this depends on grant money. Upcoming plans include group exhibitions in Lampeter and Aberystwyth, and several of our members will be showing with other artists’ groups during the year.
Do you have any advice for artists when it comes to competitions?
The group unanimously answered this one: ‘Go for it! Don’t be afraid to enter, stick to the rules and present your case as professionally as you can.’