Printmaker of the Year

Each year Printfest select a major UK printmaker to be Printmaker of the Year.

The Printmaker of the Year completes a residency in the South Lakes area that gives them the opportunity to enjoy the environment, time and space to develop their practice and create work that is inspired by the local area and people, and to produce a commissioned print that will become part of the Printfest Print Collection.

They become a guest judge on the Selection Panel to support the process of selecting 42 artists from the applications we receive each year (2023: 93).

They give a presentation at the Opening Talk about their work and practice.

In 2007, 2008 & 2009 selected artists were invited to be key guests at the festival.

The Printmaker of the Year Award was launched in 2010.

The Printmakers of the Year list:

2024 – Bronwen Sleigh
2023 – Hilary Paynter MBE
2022 – Anita Klein
2021 – roll-over
2020 – roll-over
2019 – Sadie Tierney
2018 – Gail Brodholt
2017 – Jason Hicklin
2016 – Interregnum
2015 – Jane Glynn
2014 – Gill Tyson
2013 – Katherine Jones RA
Katherine was appointed a
Royal Academician in 2022
2012 – Kelly Stewart
2011 – Trevor Price
2010 – Anja Percival

Selected guest artists:
2009 – Hamanishi Katsunori
2008 – Angie Lewin
2007 – Elizabeth Blackadder

Bronwen Sleigh

Bronwen Sleigh is a visual artist working in printmaking, drawing and sculpture, asking questions about the built environment. Process is integral to her practice – her drawings and sculptures inform each other, moving from 2D to 3D and back again. The labour-intensive multiple processes result in artworks which challenge perceptions of the ordinary by presenting it in an unfamiliar way. Bronwen was born in 1980 in Birmingham and raised in Mid-Wales, now living and working in Scotland, with a BA from The Glasgow School of Art and an MA from The Royal College of Art. She has worked as a Print Fellow with The Royal Academy Schools and as an etching technician at Edinburgh Printmakers. Her work is held in numerous collections around the world.

Find out what Bronwen is doing : @bronwensleigh.
Discover more about her and her work :

Hilary Paynter MBE ~ Printfest Printmaker of the Year 2023

Hilary was born in 1943 in Dunfermline, she studied at Portsmouth College of Art in Sculpture and Wood Engraving and at London University for an MA and MSC in Psychology. She has had parallel careers in wood engraving and special needs education for 30 years and has been a full-time artist since 2000.

Hilary has been interviewed by BBC’s Woman’s Hour, filmed by BBC’s Off the Wall and We are (not) Amused (about cartoons of royalty). She has exhibited widely with solo shows at Bankside Gallery, Hereford City Art Gallery, Durham City Art Gallery, Edinburgh Printmakers, Zillah Bell Gallery in Thirsk, and Art Matters in Tenby; Aberystwyth; Northern Print. One of the many books she has illustrated is Eight World’s Wives, poems by Carol Ann Duffy. Her monograph book ‘Full Circle’ (2010) contains 264 pages of more than 600 of her engravings, including 21 in colour and is available to purchase through her website.

Hilary says: “I always have more ideas than I can use and these range widely to include socio-political comment and landscape. I normally work directly onto end-grain wood with rudimentary drawings from ideas that I have been refining mentally and this allows development of the engraving on the block. Lately, I have begun making large wood engraving collages.

“There is always an urgency in my work because of my commitments to the SWE and RE and I have developed rapid engraving techniques. Generally, I have several blocks in progress at any time and move between them. I enjoy the occasional constraints of working to a commission. I listen to Radio 4 or stories on cassette/CD while I work.”

Hilary will be creating a commissioned wood engraving inspired by Ulverston and the South Lakes as part of her Printfest residency. she will be on the selection committee for artists’ applications.

Visitors to Printfest 2023 will be able to meet and talk to Hilary, we look forward to welcoming her.

Anita Klein ~ Printmaker of the Year 2022

Anita studied at Chelsea and the Slade schools of art. She is a fellow and past president of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers (RE) and her work is in many private and public collections in Europe, the USA and Australia, including Arts Council England and the British Museum. She divides her time between studios in London and Anghiari, Italy.

Anita made a brief first visit to Ulverston in early September. This was followed by a conversation between Anita and Patron Mychael Barratt. The artists discussed how they came to printmaking, their passion for the medium and how it has formed their view on life. Anita talks about painting and printing water and the challenges it creates. She swam in Windermere in the rain on her visit! The full conversation will be printed in the Printfest 2021 catalogue.

Mychael Barratt: This watery work that you’ve been doing is quite well timed for a residency in the Lake District. Are you looking forward to this and to Printfest?

Anita Klein: Yes indeed! I did a flying visit to Ulverston last week so I could have a swim in Lake Windermere before the cold weather set in, in preparation for a Printfest print. My wild swimming experiences have all been in Italy, Switzerland and Australia before, so I approached the idea of a cold English lake with trepidation. I thought I could always do a paddling print if it was too freezing! Actually, once I was in it was glorious, and quite different to other lake swims I’ve done. I even went back the next day and got caught up in a sponsored swim, so managed a kilometre or more! Under the water was really black and cold and the surface of the water was silvery and magically reflected the grey sky. Also rain on the water was amazing. I’m letting the experience settle in a bit before starting some paintings, and finally a print, which I aim to have ready by next April for Printfest.

The first edition of the commissioned print Anita creates will be unveiled at Printfest 2022 and will become part of the Printfest Collection. You will be able to purchase editions of the print over the weekend. To find out about the Printfest Print Collection visit printfest-print-collection

Sadie Tierney ~ Printmaker of the Year 2019

For 2019 we partnered with Northern Print, Glasgow Print Studios and Emma Mason Prints. We also approached artists directly who exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition as we felt there was a greater focus on printmaking this year. It gives us pleasure to welcome Sadie Tierney as our Printmaker of the Year 2019.

Sadie studied at the Royal College of Art and is an established printmaker and painter based in Portsmouth. She uses drawings made in situ to inform the development of her prints, exploring landscape linked to emotion and metaphor, with a celebratory use of colour and line. Her images have sometimes been defined as coming from a particularly European Modernist tradition, she is influenced by traditions of art outside Western culture: Japanese print and Chinese scroll painting amongst other work.

All Sadie’s prints are individually hand-made on the artist’s 1840s Star Wheel etching press, or where scale necessitates on larger presses at Rabley Contemporary Drawing Centre in Wiltshire.

She has exhibited at Flowers East Gallery, Rabley Drawing Centre and Eton College. Her work is held in public collections including: Gdansk Museum, The Bronx Museum of the Arts and Eton College.

Sadie will be visiting the South Lakes to complete an Artist’s Residency and create a commissioned print inspired by Ulverston and the surrounding area. The first edition will be unveiled at Printfest 2019. Sadie will be joining the Printfest Selection Committee as one of the guest judges on the selection panel.

Gail Brodholt ~ Printmaker of the Year 2018

For 2018 we partnered with Zillah Bell Gallery in Thirsk and with Bankside Gallery in London, the gallery for the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, with a short-list of some of the best printmakers working in the UK today. We were delighted to welcome Gail Brodholt as our Printmaker of the Year 2018.

Gail Brodholt is a leading painter and printmaker of contemporary urban landscapes. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE), where she currently holds the post of Honorary Curator. She holds a degree in Fine Art (Painting) from Kingston University. She has exhibited widely and is the recipient of many prizes for printmaking. Exhibitions in 2017 include solo shows at Eames Fine Art in London, Church St Gallery in Saffron Walden, Gallery Nine in Bath and For Art’s Sake, London.

Gail is both a painter and a printmaker and finds that working in one medium informs and enhances the other. She has published two lithographs in collaboration with the Curwen Studio. She works from her purpose built printmaking studio in Woolwich, south London and has recently been the subject of a book by Mascot Media on her work.

Gail says of her practice “I’m really interested in those unconsidered and unnoticed places that people pass through. They are on their way to somewhere else, presumably more important – on the escalators, on the tube, train station platforms, motorways… I like that sense, which we all have, of feeling that anything could happen between departing and arriving – although of course it almost always doesn’t. When you are travelling you are free from normal life’s routines and obligations, with all the anticipation of an adventure ahead of you.”

Jason Hicklin ~ Printmaker of the Year 2017

Jason Hicklin is represented by Zillah Bell Gallery in Thirsk, Yorkshire, and Eames Fine Art Gallery in London. We were thrilled to have him as our Printmaker of the year for 2017.

Jason graduated from St. Martin’s in 1988 and then from The Central School of Art in 1991, Jason was elected a member of The Royal Society of Painters-Printmakers in 1993 and now holds the position of Royal Engraver. Jason is currently a lecturer of Printmaking at City and Guilds Art School in London and has his own studio in Shropshire. Jason’s work captures the feel of the weather and light and it’s effect on the landscape. All Jason’s work is begun outdoors. carrying the minimum of equipment, he will walk and climb the desired area for days and sometimes nights, often in extreme weather. He describes working outdoors in these tense and exciting conditions as a trememdously connecting experience – feeling a part of the land itself.

Printmaker of the Year 2015 ~ Jane Glynn

We partnered with Zillah Bell Gallery and asked who they felt were the best printmakers working in the UK today and Jane was selected from their short list of artists.

Jane is an Irish artist/printmaker with a Masters Degree in Fine Art Printmaking from the National College of Art & Design (NCAD) in Dublin. Liminal space is the cornerstone of Jane’s work. Her focus has been on the interiors of buildings in transition―places that are floating between functions, drifting towards abandonment and decay, hovering between ownership old and new. She has a fascination with the remnants of past lives – both physical and psychological – that remain in these buildings long after their inhabitants have gone. Primarily through intaglio printmaking and photography, Jane engages with these atmospheric spaces and their sense of fleeting temporality. Her work has been exhibited at the Royal Academy in London, the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin and was chosen for the inaugural exhibition of The Royal Academy of Arts in North Yorkshire at Zillah Bell Galleries in Thirsk, Yorkshire.

Printmaker of the Year 2014 ~ Gill Tyson

In autumn 2013, we partnered with Edinburgh Printmakers and their Studio Director, Alastair Clark to nominate some of the UK’s best printmakers. Gill Tyson was selected from their shortlist of artists.

Gill studied at Edinburgh College of Art and Edinburgh University, receiving an MA (Hons) in Fine Art in 1979. Her main practice is in lithography, concentrating on the richness of expressive marks within this medium. She develops her prints by building up layers of colour to create a depth and intensity in deceptively simple and distilled imagery. Her work has been likened to “painting in slow motion”.

Gill says “I like remote environments. I seek out human markers in the landscape: a circus poster on a telegraph pole by the Arctic Sea, a kilometre marker in the Namib Desert. It’s The End Of The Road was a series of images looking at places where the road runs out; a pier collapsed into the sea, an abandoned signal station in Donegal. My last exhibition Shelter focussed on different sources of shelter, from a castle to a telephone box, including recent work from the Outer Hebrides and St Kilda. I think that implicit in my subject matter is our desire at times to withdraw and retreat from the world whilst still needing the companionship and support of human communion.”

Her recent exhibitions include the Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh Printmakers, The Red Barn and Printroom. In 2012 she was one of the artists representing Britain in The International Print Exhibition in Kyoto, Japan.

Gill has recently completed residencies in Ireland and Wales. In 2008 she received a Visual Arts Award from the Hope Scott Trust and in 2009 a Visual Arts Award from The City of Edinburgh and Scottish Arts Council.

Her work is held in public collections including; Aberdeen Art Gallery, Art in Healthcare, Ritchie Collection, University of Dundee, Fife Council, Readers Digest, Smithsonian Institution, Mobil Oil, Royal Bank of Scotland, Melon Financial Corporation George Watson’s College, Parliamentary Art Collection-House Of Lords.

Printmaker of the Year 2013 ~ Katherine Jones

In autumn 2012, we partnered with Leicester Print Workshop whose members nominated the artists they felt were the best printmakers working in the UK today and Katherine was selected from their short list of artists.

Based in South East London, Katherine completed a degree in Printmaking at Cambridge School of Art before studying for an MA in Fine Art Printmaking at Camberwell College of Art. In 2007 she was awarded the research fellowship in printmaking at the City and Guilds of London Art School and has won numerous awards over recent years including the Birgit Skiold Memorial Trust Award of Excellence 2010 and the International Print Biennale Solution Group Prize 2009. Katherine was shortlisted for this year’s prestigious Arts Fellowship Foundation Award in Printmaking.

The tension between safety and danger, security and vulnerability, are a central focus of Katherine’s work. The flexibility of her chosen medium, collagraph, allows her to continually add and subtract colour and contrast from the plate or block until, after a lengthy proofing process, she arrives at the finished piece. Her printmaking methods are often experimental and for her there is nothing rigid about the process of print.

Katherine’s prints Stove and Forest Light have been selected by Gill Saunders, senior curator in the word and image department at the V&A Museum, to be included in the V&A prints and drawings collection. This follows the recent purchase of two new collagraphs The Vanishing Land and Outpost by the Palace of Westminster Parliamentary Art Committee for a re-hang of the recently refurbished House of Lords and Millbank Tower.

In May 2022 Katherine Jones was elected as a Royal Academician. This prestigious accolade recognises her contribution to printmaking as an artist and teacher. She became one of the youngest Royal Academicians to be elected.

Printmaker of the Year 2012 ~ Kelly Stewart

In Autumn 2011, we asked print studios around the country to nominate the best printmakers in the UK. Kelly was nominated by Edinburgh Print Studio and was chosen from a short list of artists by a selection panel comprising Printfest organisers and artists.

Born in Sydney Australia, Kelly studied a Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) Hons, majoring in illustration at the University of Western Sydney followed by a further year of printmaking. In 2000 she moved to Edinburgh to pursue her career in illustration and to be amongst traditional architecture. Drawing European traditional architecture fulfilled a passion that she craved, having been surrounded by predominantly modern architecture in Australia. Edinburgh became a constant source of inspiration and she began to draw quirky architectural sketches and street scenes combined with mark making and handwritten text. Equally, Kelly has a love of all creatures great and small so animals regularly feature in her work.

Kelly joined the Edinburgh Printmakers workshop in 2001 and in this time has dedicated most of her art making to the medium of silkscreen printing. She enjoys the drawn line and quite often varies the line quality, whether it be from a pencil, a graphite stick, charcoal or a nib and combines them into the one artwork through the screenprinting process. Screenprinting offers limitless opportunity in combining the drawings with found textures, photographic imagery and text.

Kelly has exhibited in galleries throughout the UK as well as open exhibitions such as the Visual Arts Scotland at the RSA, the Royal Glasgow Institute of fine arts and Aberdeen Artists society exhibition. Permanent collections are in Howies Restaurants (Edinburgh and Aberdeen) as well as in the Budongo Chimpanzee House at Edinburgh Zoo.

Printmaker of the Year 2011 ~ Trevor Price

Our 2011 Printmaker of the Year was Trevor Price. Trevor was chosen from a short list of artists provided by Printmaking Today magazine, with the final selection made by a panel comprising Printfest organisers and artists. As our Printmaker of the Year, Trevor worked with members of the local community on a large-scale, participatory print which was completed and unveiled at Printfest 2011.

Trevor specialises in drypoints and etchings that are handmade and handprinted from studios in St.Ives and London. His artworks usually represent the intimacy between a couple, sometimes romantic, sometimes erotic and often humorous. Artistic influences include Picasso, Freda Kahlo, Ben Nicholson and Cecil Collins. Location can also be a big influence in the work, and his Cornish roots often feature.

Trevor Price studied at Falmouth and Winchester Schools of Art. He is a member of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, and exhibits widely throughout Europe, with regular solo shows of both paintings and original prints.. His work is held in various collections including the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford), Guangdong Museum of Art (China), Yale University (USA), and The Bank of England.

He has won several national printmaking awards, and has on several occasions been an invited selector for the annual national printmaking exhibition held at the Mall Galleries in London.

Printmaker of the Year 2010 ~ Anja Percival

Our 2010 Printmaker of the Year was Anja Percival. Printfest partnered with Northern Print Studio who provided a short list of artists and the final selection was made by a panel comprising Printfest organisers and artists, with the advice of Printmaking Today, the leading magazine for artist printmakers.

Anja is fascinated by the different atmospheres that light creates in rural and especially urban environments. She uses variations in light, form, texture and colour to magnify the moods and sensations of the places she experiences – lonely streets, deserted railway stations and even the canals of Venice – in etchings of haunting beauty.

Anja trained at Falmouth College of Art between 1998 and 2002. She has been a member of several print studios in Cornwall and in 2005 moved to Copenhagen to continue her printmaking at the prestigious National Workshops for Arts and Crafts at the Gammel Dok Pakhus in Strandgade. Whilst in Denmark she discovered the unique print studios at Odense – the Fyns Grafiske Vaerksted. Today she divides her time between the print studio in Odense and the Northern Print Studio in Newcastle. Her work has been exhibited extensively in Denmark and throughout the UK. She has won a number of Prizes, including the Bodil Prize in Denmark.