Affordable editions: UWE's new digital print publishing studio exhibits at London art fair

Issue date: 02 October 2012

'Ray Kinsella' by Paul Laidler

A 3D rainbow-coloured manta ray, and 'bar-code' colour images recording a timeline of Vogue magazine covers over the last 30 years, are just some of the wide range of digitally printed artworks from UWE Bristol's Centre for Fine Print Research on show at this year's Multiplied contemporary art fair.

The fair, where limited editions of contemporary art are on sale at prices from £100 to £20,000, is free to attend and takes place at Christie's in South Kensington from 12 – 15 October 2012.

Dr Paul Laidler runs CFPR Editions which is one of the first digital print publishing studios to be based at a UK University. He is delighted the studio is among just 41 galleries and publishing studios invited to exhibit at the fair and said, “The exhibition will include new works by staff from UWE's Creative Industries department including myself, Arthur Buxton, Richard Falle, Roy Voss and Peter Walters, as well as early career and established artists, with a wide range of styles and approaches, from outside of UWE. These include Gordon Cheung, Paul Coldwell and Sebastian Schramm.

“CFPR Editions functions as a publishing studio of limited edition prints and multiples. The studio primarily uses digital technologies such as inkjet, UV, rapid prototyping, and laser cutting. The focus on new print technologies in the field of fine art printmaking places CFPR Editions in a unique area of the print publishing art market.”

CFPR Editions has been developed as a practice-led approach that was initiated as part of an early career research grant awarded to Paul. In this approach, he is investigating what constitutes a print today for visual artists and whether digital technology has diluted the medium so much that print is becoming a redundant term within this mechanically defined practice.

The studio collaborates with artists – some of whom may not have encountered digital print technologies before. Here the collaborative model allows an artist to explore new territory or revisit established mediums such as drawing, photography and painting anew - advancing their creative practice whilst potentially accessing new markets.

Paul continues, “The rapid advancement of digital technology is making it harder to define what a 'print' actually is; for example, rapid prototyping (3D printing) is an industrial process that can be used to create three-dimensional printed artefacts in a growing number of synthetic and organic materials. Subsequently we might ask if this is sculpture or printmaking - or does this distinction even matter today? I am interested in how new technologies are blurring the boundaries between disciplines while extending the definition and possibilities for this graphic-orientated practice in the digital age.

“From a disseminator's perspective the collaborative print studio has traditionally been a rich source of information for artists, historians, conservators, and students engaging with printmaking. Some of the considerations that have to be taken into account with digital printing are how to value this particular reproductive process, how to define limits to print runs, how to certify authenticity, and how to describe works that both inform and reveal the physical renderings of the 'push button' process.”

· For images of CFPR Editions work see

· For more information on CFPR editions see

· Multiplied Contemporary Art in Editions Fair: Art You Can Buy, 12 – 15 October 2012, Christie's South Kensington, Old Brompton Road. For more information see

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