Behind the scenes: Baker to Bartlett Exhibition

The RBSA’s printmaking evolution was portrayed in Baker to Bartlett: The Changing Face of RBSA Printmaking in the autumn of 2016.

Curators David and Carol White selected works from living artists, the RBSA Collection and Members’ private collections.

Both are retired Archive Officers of the RBSA, and therefore have extensive knowledge of the RBSA Collection and printmakers’ styles within the Society.

David and Carol said their choice of theme was driven by their own practical experience of making prints and their passion for the medium.

They expressed particular gratitude to the nine Members who agreed to lend their work to the exhibition, resulting in twelve outstanding examples of what RBSA Members and Associates produced in various stages of their careers.

A highlight was title artist Paul Bartlett’s No Entry, (or Still Knocking at the Door), 2007. The wonderful addition of works such as this also allowed living artists to write their own exhibition and catalogue labels, revealing the creative process from conception to technical execution.

Paul Bartlett, RBA, RBSA, Life Journey series, No Entry (or Still Knocking at the Door), 2007, Solar Plate Etching

Paul Bartlett RBSA RBSA, No Entry (or Still Knocking at the Door), 2007, Solar plate etching. Commentary from Paul Bartlett on the work: “Commissioned for ‘The Encyclopedia of Fantasy and Science Fiction Art Techniques’ (pub 1996), the brief was to create ‘a plausibly impossible architectural structure.’ When reworking it as an etching, I included myself in the eternally recurring implausible truths – no matter what stage in a career or life we are at, there are still closed doors to contend with.” copyright @paulbartlett

The exhibition showcased works spanning almost 200 years and demonstrated the RBSA’s contribution to printmaking and changing attitudes to subjects ranging from local topography to science fiction imaginings.

As a member of the RBSA Archive Team, I worked with Carol and David and researched prints using the RBSA archive files and MODES database.

I was very proud to have contributed to Baker to Bartlett: The Changing Face of RBSA Printmaking and to have documented its success on the RBSA Vimeo page.

Our Most Ambitious Film Yet

Having already shared seven short films about the history, volunteers and Members of the RBSA, we received funding from West Midlands Museum Development to produce our most ambitious online film yet.

The video gives a brief overview of the Society’s history and annual programme, plus ways you can support the Society through donations and purchasing artworks.

There’s also information on how to travel to the Gallery via public transport and walking on foot. Two actors provide a guide to what is exhibited on the different floors of the Gallery, and give details about facilities and access for any disabled visitors.

Danielle Hansbury, a British Sign language interpreter, accompanies the film throughout. Our team of RBSA archive volunteers and Friends and Members of the Society all donated their time to help in the production of this video.

We all hope it will be of use to anyone thinking about coming to the Gallery.

See you at the Gallery soon!

Issy Frostick, RBSA Archive Volunteer

#birmingham #culture #gallery #fineart #arts #exhibition

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