Printmaker launches new studio

AT WORK: Anja Percival as she prepares one of her pieces.
AT WORK: Anja Percival as she prepares one of her pieces.
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AN artist is putting the finishing touches to her next exhibition as she launches her own studio space.

Printmaker Anja Percival is preparing to show her most recent series of etchings in her gallery and workshop in Fowlers Yard, behind Durham Indoor Market.

STREETS AHEAD: A print by Anja Percival.

STREETS AHEAD: A print by Anja Percival.

Anja, who is from the city, previously shared one of the units with her twin sister Juliet, an illustrator, but they recently decided to expand and now have their own unit each.

Her exhibition as part of Northern Print’s International Print Biennale, the biggest event of its kind in the UK, will be her first exhibition in her own workshop.

In addition to viewing completed work, visitors will be able to see her put together new pieces as she creates etchings and prints.

The traditional etching process produces images using acid erosion on metal, often copper.

Anja draws on her copper with wax, and then dips the plates in acid and the areas of copper exposed to the acid are ‘bitten’ or roughened.

During subsequent printing, these areas grip printing ink which is transferred to paper using extreme pressure in an etching press.

Anja said: “My compositions aim to combine different moods of light, with contrasting space and surface qualities.

“I enjoy working with a variety of etching techniques that result in subtle tonal differences within my imagery.

“I rarely start with line, but instead focus on the highlights within an image, using techniques that build on the areas that will remain light, instead of creating the image with dark line and shading.

“Then during the printing process, I apply ink to the copper plate in quite a painterly fashion which allows me to vary density and colour, to exaggerate the effect of the etched image.”

In the spring of 2010 Anja was awarded Printmaker of the Year at Printfest in Cumbria, and she has secured gallery representation both nationally and internationally, with outlets including London, New York, Denmark, Sweden and Canada.

Other shows in her home city have included one held at Durham Cathedral in September of 2012, when its Galilee Chapel provided the backdrop for her work.

Her images have also been selected to hang in the newly refurbished Millbank House, within the House of Lords.

The new display will run from tomorrow (FRI) until Saturday, August 9, with the unit open from Tuesday to Friday between 10am and noon and 2pm and 6pm, Saturday from 10am to 4pm, or by appointment by calling 07889 362 365 or emailing