Heinke Jenkins: a prizewinning printmaker to inspire all others

Heinke Jenkins has collected many awards for her work, including winning the coveted RBSA Print Prize. Contemporary printmakers can currently submit work to this year’s show. Read about Heinke for inspiration…

Her work often features people bearing the weight of conflict and private torment on their shoulders… Heinke Jenkins has never been afraid to unite the personal and the political.

Heinke Jenkins 'Day by Day'

‘Day by Day’

She was born in Heilbronn, West Germany, just before the outbreak of World War II, moving to Britain in 1961.

She studied painting at the University of Stuttgart under Mannfred Henninger, but switched to graphic design and illustration. She went on to specialise in printing and lino-cuts, staying true to the traditions of her native Germany despite their being not much of a printmaking scene in the UK at the start of her career.

She maintained links with her hometown through the Heilbronn Artists’ Association, and also showed at the Royal Academy in London.

Her work is haunted by the aftermath of war, with frequent allusions to control, brutality, displacement and escape.





This starkness of theme works well in her chosen medium. Her use of colour is often quite sparing, and early lino-cuts were monochrome.

There is a strong sense of collective oppression. Crowd scenes are frequently ominous and unsettling, individuals gaunt and preoccupied.

Heinke Jenkins' artwork_ Double Construction _ Posted on Nok… _ Flickr

‘Double Construction’

Her later career has seen a shift in style and tone – with more use of colour and a greater sense of optimism.



Heinke has exhibited in America, Germany, and England. She has won many prizes including: Printmaker of the Month at Leicester City Gallery; Tanner Charitable Trust Print Prize; Coley and Tilley Prize; RBSA Contemporary Prints; T.N. Lawrence Print Prize; RBSA Print Prize.

Call for Entries

If you are a contemporary printmaker making original prints – etchings, lino-cuts, screen-prints, or engravings – then why not enter our next major exhibition?

Heinke Jenkins is a past winner of the £1,000 first prize.

The current Call for Entries for our Print Prize Exhibition runs until 4pm on Wednesday May 23.

  1. Why not help us celebrate contemporary printmaking across the UK and be in the running for a top prize of £1,000?

  2. Open to all artists: go to the  RBSA website  where you’ll find more information and the application pack.

  3. This year’s exhibition will be selected by Mychael Barratt, Past President of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, and Leonie Bradley, Editor of Printmaking Today.

Banner image: Heinke Jenkins ‘Double Construction’

#germany #worldwar #linocut #printmaking #ukprintmakers #woodengraving

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