Like many clubs throughout Great Britain, Ormskirk CC have been pondering the subject of What to do about prints! and although we are a relatively small club of just over twenty members we did, pre-covid, hold regular print competitions. ZOOM and PDI’s have allowed our club to continue effectively through Pandemic times, but we got out of the habit of printing and held back from reintroducing them for 2022-23. So what could we do? We decided on what was an ambitious approach, for our club at least, of putting on an A3 Print Exhibition at our local arts centre, “The Chapel” in Ormskirk.
We soon realised that it was going to cost money, something that was in short supply given the reduction in club membership over the past few years. We put in an application for financial assistance to West Lancashire Borough Council, which has an annual Community Chest Fund for local initiatives such as ours. We were delighted to receive funding, and immediately set about planning how we could make the money go as far as possible.
The next thing we realised was that we were on a very steep learning curve. Not only was this something that we had never done before, and though we have members who have regularly printed their work, we didn’t have any print specialists in the club. So the approach we adopted may not have been that of a club with more experience in these matters, but guess what, we think it worked.
So what did we do? We invited members to submit their own images, no selection panel or judging, and we believe that this ensured that the images reflected each individual’s personal photographic journey and where they are on that journey at this moment in time. Consequently, we feel that this contributed to a very personal feel to the exhibition, especially as we invited members to write a short explanatory note, with the Title to accompany each image. We also decided that each of the images would be printed on the same type of paper and I can hear the sharp intake of breath from the purists as I write this. However, we felt it was a safe option and so we consulted with DS Colour Labs who suggested a Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308 paper. The prints were speedily delivered to us and they looked amazing. It was money well spent.
On our preparation visits to the gallery, we noted that the majority of the walls were black. So we then decided that all our prints would be framed on black mountboard with black frames. Perhaps this level of consistency would mean that the exhibition would look very different from many other exhibitions, and maybe that is why we stuck to our guns. We were not disappointed (we would say that wouldn’t we) but the positive feedback we have had from visitors convinces us that it was an inspired choice.
On Saturday 29 October, in the presence of members and guests, our Inaugural Large Print Exhibition was opened by James Hardy CPAGB LRPS AFIAP, President of the L&CPU and Gordon Jenkins HonPAGB, Hon Life Vice-President of the PAGB.
I want to take this opportunity of thanking James and Gordon for their support and generous comments. It was great to welcome you to see our work
We hope the exhibition will contribute towards our aims of re-introducing prints within the club, increasing members’ knowledge of printing and presenting their work, whilst developing awareness of the club within the local community.
We would also like to thank Ian & Ruth at The Chapel for their support, encouragement and use of their Gallery space.
If you happen to be near Ormskirk before Friday 25th November please call in and have a look, and maybe also enjoy a coffee and a cake in the excellent Chapel Cafe Bar.
President, Ormskirk Camera Club