Blackpool Creative Market to host first Print Fair

Blackpool Creative Market is hosting its very first Print Fair in October, showcasing the best independent artistic talent working on the Fylde Coast and offering a series of workshops and activities.

Printmakers working in mediums including lino print, photography and screen printing will present their work to the public on stalls in the Winter Gardens on 28th October. The first Creative Market was held in October 2021 and has now become a staple of Blackpool’s cultural calendar.

The print fair is being held in recognition of the incredible volume and quality of print artists living and working locally. Original and handmade prints made using a variety of techniques will be available for the public to buy while getting to meet the makers behind them and take part in workshops.

Printmaker Robin Ross hosts a stall at a previous Blackpool Creative Market.

“It’s important to propagate the craft of printmaking so that these manual skills and traditions do not become lost and it is a joy to share the artisan skills I have trained in with people of all ages,” said Blackpool printmaker and artist Lisa Wigham from The Two a.m Press.

Wigham reproduces prints and artists books using “endangered crafts” of letterpress printing, bookbinding and etching.  She will be hosting workshops and activities on the day.

“The workshops will offer space for people to explore print creativity, try new things and express themselves freely – as an alternative to digital media,” she said.

“What I love about print is that it’s so democratic. An original painting is only available to very few people. A print can be reproduced and available to all at a lower cost but is still an original artwork.”

This celebration of printmaking, bringing together an eclectic range of independent artists to showcase a huge range of prints, will be the perfect place to find affordable art and one of a kind works. The organised among you will find unique gifts ideas for (whisper it) Christmas!

Shoppers at a a previous Blackpool Market – the one on the 28th October will focus solely on print.

Suzanne Pinder is a Blackpool printmaker and artist who references the natural world and her own families’ history in Blackpool in her work. She will also be running workshops and activities on the day.

“What I love about print is that it’s so democratic. An original painting is only available to very few people. A print can be reproduced and available to all at a lower cost but is still an original artwork,” she said.

“I collect beautiful wooden Victorian fonts, although I have a few from the early 1830s as well. Blackpool has a whole history of theatre posters and printed ephemera. I like to make Victorian style playbills with a twist. The possibilities are endless!”

Blackpool Creative Markets are run by The Heritage Action Zone – a partnership between Historic England and Blackpool Council which recognises the streets around St John’s Square as an area of historic interest. As part of the project, the HAZ runs creative activities and events including a programme of workshops currently being delivered over the summer. The Print Fair will mark the beginning of it’s autumn events calendar.

“I think it’s a great idea for Blackpool to have its own print fair. The nearest ones are Manchester and the Lakes, or in the south,” said Pinder. “We have an entirely different flavour and I see that as a positive. Bawdy and colourful!

“It’s something completely different for the area and it’s saying hey, we’re here, have a look at us in a different light. Seaside towns everywhere are having to reinvent themselves, we are the brightest and the best and, historically, we’ve been the first for many things –why not a print fair?”

Blackpool Creative Market is currently accepting applications for stallholders – printmakers with great creative talent and unique, original products. Apply here. And view the Facebook event here.

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