State of Print: Contested Spaces, IMPACT 12 International Printmaking Conference 2022, Bristol

Paul Harrison (Artist), Catherine Hehir (Artist)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


STATE OF PRINT is an iterative exhibition, that toured initially across ten international venues (2018-2020), exploring what a nation state is and how this is expressed through its legal printed materials – money, maps, laws, information, governance etc. Harrison is joint curator and director of the project.

The project was initiated by Harrison during his invited residency at Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Ireland, (October 2016 & July 2017) as a collaboration with five other artists – Catherine Hehir (Crawford College of Art & Design (CCAD), Cork, Noelle Noonan, Des McMahon & Suzzanah O’ Reilly (Limerick School of Art & Design (LSAD) and Scott Hudson (Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) and was initially funded in part by Culture Ireland.

STATE OF PRINT has expanded exponentially by inviting artists at each exhibition location to contribute a series of printed flatpack boxes which are integrated into the temporary structures that form the boundaries of the ‘state’. The events/exhibitions have become increasingly performative incorporating a range of activities, interventions and interactions, for example in exchange for their participation, artists are invited to become citizens and are issued passports.

The project has featured in local newspapers, national radio, international journals, book and conference publications. The initial series of ten exhibitions represents phase one of this project and are currently being compiled as a documentary book and accompanying recordings for publication – along with invited essays and texts.

This new phase of the State of Print is led by four of the originators - Harrison, Hehir, Hudson & Noonan. Exhibitions and events through 2021, such as the Illustrated talk/film and exhibition at Impact 11 International Printmaking conference, Hong Kong and exhibition at the Galway International Arts Festival concentrated on archiving the material generated to date – and will contribute to the publication currently in progress - and also led to further ongoing invitations such as:


IMPACT 12 International Printmaking Conference 2022, Bristol
The Printmakers Voice

State of Print was invited to be a key feature of the Impact 12 International Printmaking Conference in Bristol 2023 – and to form a symbolic ‘Twinning’ between SOP & IMPACT. This incorporated a series of elements including:

Artist Residency
A one-month residency at the Centre For Print Research (CFPR)
University of the West of England (UWE)
1st July – 31st July 2022
Working with staff, researchers (also a dedicated research assistant) and Masters students to develop work towards the exhibition, CFPR archive and the editions portfolio. A 16k Budget was allocated.

Info on the CFPR Residencies:
The artist in residence programme presents a truly exciting opportunity for collaboration and the enrichment of the CFPR’s research activities. Artists and designers will make a body of work that contributes to the CFPR archive and the editions portfolio. They will bring a curiosity and range of interests in areas such as fine art, print, product design, robotics, electronics, software, manufacturing, and materials science, encouraging new and productive research partnerships. As well as producing a body of work, resident artists will deliver a range of inspiring talks and participative sessions to our researchers and student community.

Conference Keynote
City Hall, Bristol – 21st September 2022

Public Performance/Procession from the City Hall to the Old Fire Station – 21st September 2022
This opening Keynote of the conference followed on from the Welcome Address and included the Twinning ceremony between SOP & IMPACT. Following the Keynote, delegates were invited to collect pre-made banners and join our pre-arranged street procession (with drummers) through Bristol City Centre to the exhibition venue at the Old Fire Station.
We estimate approximately 300 delegates (of the 400+) joined in this public street event.

Public Exhibition
The Old Fire Station - 21st – 25th September 2022

This State of Print exhibition included some of the regular components of SOP events such as the boxes, currency, passports etc. along with new components such as:
the 40+ large scale Banners and costumes from the procession
Land Grab - a series of paper sculptures and printed Land Deeds
Hedge Fund – a large scale printed cardboard hedge sculpture
SOPOPOLY – 2 Large scale interactive board games
Contested Spaces – a series of over 100 collected stories - each represented through a collection of images, texts and or objects contained within a carboard box. Each one submitted by artists (SOP Citizens) in response to an open call. All presented in a bespoke shelving structure and counter made for containing and viewing the boxes.

Also included new film works by Adam Lockhart:
Video artworks. ‘SOP Gardens’, ‘Big Printer'
Conceptual cinema as part of the ‘State of Print’. Spoof adverts made from found footage and remixed into video collages with Big Brother style interludes promoting 'state' ideals.

Also, new live music/performance works by Bob Flambe (Mickey Mallet) and Adam Lockhart
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherThe Centre for Print Research
Media of outputOther
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2022
EventImpact 12: International Printmaking Conference: The Printmakers' Voice - Centre for Print Research, University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Sept 202225 Sept 2022


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