The Academicians' Gallery
Printmaking as an art form has a history in Scotland dating back to the 18th century. Before this, printmaking was seen as a tool of publishing, but the early media seen in books and manuscripts has evolved into a beautifully unique art form today. The first recorded items to enter the RSA collections in 1829 were mezzotint prints by the artist John Martin (1789-1854) and printmaking has remained a key area right up to the present day.
In November 2017 the Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture staged its biggest collections-based show in a generation, Ages of Wonder: Scotland’s Art from 1540 to Now. During this exhibition, the RSA hosted a series of live printmaking events in the gallery, demonstrating the practice of printing etchings and proofing new editions. Artists Kate Downie RSA, Stuart Duffin RSA and Paul Furneaux RSA created their own prints in the gallery whilst printmaker Leena Nammari editioned prints for Delia Baillie RSA, Jessica Harrison RSA (Elect), and Marion Smith RSA. Frances Walker RSA proofed her new etching with Leena in the RSA and the edition was completed with Michael Waight in Aberdeen. These prints by seven contemporary artists bring the RSA’s print holdings right up to date. They emphasise the living creative practice of the artistic network that lies behind the RSA collections.
These works are also now on tour across Scotland, visiting Maclaurin Art Gallery, Paisley Museum & Art Gallery, Biggar Museum and Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries in 2018.