Main Sponsor for Printfest

“We are very excited to be the first main sponsor of Printfest and support contemporary print makers producing high quality affordable art. One of the reasons we, as a species, have managed to evolve from hanging around in trees to populating the world is because we develop the ability to express ourselves through art. Good art should challenge us to think, tell a story and allow us to use our imagination.”

Karel Jacobs
Canter Holland

Administration Centre
16 Commerce Road,

Lynch Wood,

Peterborough PE2 6LR 117

Farringdon Road,
London, EC1R 3BX

Office 0845 127 1444

Addition to the Canter Holland Collection ~
After Escher, etching 42x42cm edition of 150 “My work relates to the underdog – the guy in school music lessons who always got to play the triangle whilst others were beating a big drum” Martin Lnagford is with Southbank Printmakers

Addition to the Canter Holland Collection ~
Mary, Queen of Scots, this was printed in response to The National Museum of Scotland’s Summer 2013 Mary exhibition. Screenprint 47x36cm edition of 50. This is one of four queen portraits, Canter Holland have purchased three and framed them by float mounting them onto a background of stamps. Patrizio Belcampo has been a member of Edinburgh Printmakers since 2005.

Addition to the Canter Holland Collection ~
Be A Lady, They Said, A limited edition fine bone china plate decorated with a silk screen of original painting, a cobalt blue study of Queen Mariana of Austria, based on a painting by Diego Velázquez. Approx size: 20cms. Pollyanna Johnson

Addition to the Canter Holland Collection ~
I will smile when you stop telling me to, originally hand painted in gouache, a study of the Princess of Eboli, with a coral and shell background. Inspired by the design of medieval manuscripts. Limited edition print run, signed and numbered giclée print on high quality matte paper. 18 x 25.3cm with a 0.5cm white border, Pollyanna Johnson

Recent Acquisitions
An interview with
Karel Jacobs of Canter Holland

by reporter Jennie Dennett

You might expect a firm focused on the serious business of financial advice to be into art for investment. But joint MD Karel Jacobs is having none of it.

“I actually have a bit of a problem with people that invest in art for investment’s sake and not for the sake of what they actually like. “People that go ‘look what I’ve bought and it’s gone up in value’. I mean so what! One day you’ll be dead and who cares!” For Karel, it’s fundamentally about pleasure and having something life-enhancing to look at.

There’s a huge amount of humour in his recent acquisitions, for the walls of Canter Holland and for the home he shares with fellow art-lover, his wife Jayne. The darkly-funny work of London-based artist and comic writer Babak Ganjei has been a big favourite. Who could fail to be entertained and reassured by walking into work and seeing ‘Life is a series of mistakes repeated with varying degrees of suces’.

Addition to the Canter Holland Collection ~
FAIL, Babak Ganjei is a prolific London-based visual artist who creates hilarious scrawled artworks, musing on life and love, or pitching nonsensical, laugh-out-loud movie ideas. ’This piece is part of an open edition, signed by the artist. As all artworks are individually hand-written in ink by the artist

Karel’s also drawn to pieces with a narrative to share. “I’m quite a sucker for a bit of a story behind it.” He’s a huge fan of Printfest alumni Rahil Sheikh whose work he first encountered in Ulverston’s Coronation Hall. Sheikh follows the ethos of expressionist printmakers and post war Japanese woodcut masters like Naoko Matsubura and Shiko Munakata. There is always a lot going on the slipstream of his energetic linoleum lines. “I’ve got a number of his pieces. The latest is about Thomas Becket, the Archbishop that was murdered by Henry II. His print imagines the assassins on the road to Canterbury.” The knights are, as they must have been to Becket, an intimidating sight. Their horses loom from the black and blood-red scene, so close you can imagine the snorts, soon to be mingled with the metallic slash of 12th century swords. 

Addition to the Canter Holland Collection ~
The Knights riding towards Canterbury Cathedral to assinate Thomas Becket ~ Rahil Sheikh,
linocut, edition of 10. Meet Rahil Sheikh on Stand no. 15 at Printfest 2023

Less alarming but no less visually-arresting are Karel’s new Pop Surrealist pieces from Little Fish Design. The London-based artist Toby Holmes takes classic portraits by the likes of Goya, Velazquez and Fragonard and pops in sweet wrappers and nostalgic packaging. “It’s the playfulness I like combined with the classical painting,” he says. “I am from Holland so I like the whole golden age of Dutch painting. I love the style.” Little Fish Design was someone Karel spotted at the Royal Academy summer show, somewhere he likes to spot new artists. Printfest is also a key destination for that.

Addition to the Canter Holland Collection ~
Original Flavour, Little Fish Design, gicleé on 300gsm fine art paper, edition of 21

“There’re quite a lot of galleries and exhibitions you can go to and frankly, it’s the same-old every year. Printfest is definitely not like that, you always see new things. I think they have 17 artists that haven’t been before this year.

“That’s probably the best thing. It’s not just big names that are already in lots of galleries, it’s newer artists that are trying things out.”

The common thread to all their new acquisitions is they are pictures that start a conversation. They are not the cityscapes and sunsets that blandly adorn the average office wall. Spaces that generally score a high ‘dead fairy count’ – a useful scale invented by a child that’s hard to define but instantly recognisable.

“It’s not just for clients,” says Karel. “I am creating a working environment where people feel ‘Hey! This is a bit different from a rather dull, boring office with magnolia paint on the walls and grey carpets’. It’s about having something that’s a bit more engaging.”

And it seems to be working. Canter Holland is expanding into a third office in Peterborough in addition to their existing base there as well as their London office. In 2022 four of the team came to Printfest. This year no fewer than 12 staff members are travelling to Ulverston to choose art for their homes and the office.

In his little Zoom square, Karel can be seen gripping his knees with evident excitement at the prospect of new walls to fill with life-enhancing art. “I want people to look at something, to stop and think if it’s profound. But more likely it puts a smile on someone’s face which I think is probably the most important thing we can do.”