Artlab Contemporary Print Studios is a practice based research unit where printmaking connects with other creative disciplines and discourses. The focus of the research unit is contemporary printmaking through expanded practice, where international partnerships, collaboration and experimentation is at the core.

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Facilities and equipment

Artlab CPS sudios is a unique mix of tradition and innovation. The studios are run by experienced staff of expert artist printmakers who can provide guidance and technical advice on all aspects of printmaking……….
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Lead Artists

The unit is led by two experienced artist-researchers Tracy Hill and Magda Stawarska-Beavan who use printmaking as a significant element of their practice. Artlab is an environment for practitioners to develop, debate, discover and create, applying traditional methods and new technologies. We are open to developing contacts with other practitioners and institutions and strengthen our existing connections………..
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Artlab’s creative approach into processes and developing technologies underpins the production of high quality artworks and artistic excellence. Two experienced artist-researchers, Tracy Hill and Magda Stawarska-Beavan, who both use printmaking as a significant element of their own international research practice, lead the unit. Our long-term vision is to promote contemporary print through an ethos of exploration and cross-disciplinary research approaches linking tradition and innovation. We are open to develop projects with other practitioners and multidisciplinary artists whose practice encounters innovative printmaking.

Housed within the University of Central Lancashire’s Victoria Building our specialist printmaking facilities sit at the centre of the campus amongst multi-disciplinary studios, research centres, exhibition spaces and extensive creative workshops. The unique facility provides a creative space and professional expertise for artists to develop projects where printmaking is an essential element within expanded practice.

Facilities and Equipment

Artlab CPS studios is a unique mix of tradition and innovation. The studios are run by experienced staff of expert artist printmakers who can provide guidance and technical advice on all aspects of printmaking.

The inspirational and welcoming atmosphere promotes experimentation and innovation as well as a particularly high standard of production in all areas of printmaking including: intaglio, relief, lithography and silkscreen.

The very well equipped Intaglio studios offer opportunities for etching aluminium, zinc and copper using metal salt etching etch techniques as well as intaglio type and polymer films. Our silkscreen studios are equipped to produce hand cut stencils, hand drawn autographic images and digitally produces photographic positives for screens.

Dedicated relief presses enable the production of traditional lino, wood and collagraph plates while our lithography studios are equipped for offset plate and direct stone lithography.

Intaglio Presses x 3

3 presses, maximum plate size: 98 x 120 cm

Letter Press

Stephenson Blake, bed size approcimately : 60 x 70 cm

Columbian Relief Press

Maximum plate size: 95 x 66 cm

Off-set Litho Press

3 presses, maximum plate size: 60x 84 (A1) including: Hunter Penrose Ltd and Geomann + Co Ltd

Direct Litho Press

Maximum stone size: 54x 46 cm

Large Screenprinting Tables x5

Max screen size 120 x 90 cm

Large Exposure Unit

Max screen size 120 x 90 cm

Large Drying Cabinet

Max screen size 120 x 90 cm

Lead Artists

Magda Stawarska-Beavan

Magda Stawarska- Beavan is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice is primarily concerned with the evocative and immersive qualities of sound. She is interested in how soundscape orients us and subconsciously embeds itself in our memories of place, enabling us to construct personal recollections and offering the possibility of conveying narrative to listeners who have never experienced a location. She works predominantly with sound, moving image and print, often connecting traditional printmaking processes with new technologies such as digital audio.

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Amongst Stawarska-Beavan’s recent projects exploring the shifting sonic and visual identities of cities are Kraków to Venice in 12 Hours and East {hyphen} West, Sound Impressions of Istanbul, which not only reveal intimate glimpses of the singular urban soundscapes of these places but also interrogate their cultural complexities, exploring the blurred boundaries between public and private and probing the notion of physical and political borders as points of connection and signifiers of separation. Through her collaborations with other artists and writers and their “retelling” of her audio collages, her work explores the process of deep listening.

Stawarska-Beavan’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in the gallery environment as well as in public spaces. In 2015 she received the Hemelin Polska Award at Kraków’s Print Triennale,

Her outdoor installations were shown as part of the TONSPUR programme in Kapelica Gallery Ljubljana Slovenia 2016; Brno, Czech Republic during the 28th Exposition of New Music Brno 2015 Festival and in MQ21, Vienna 2013. In 2011 she was commissioned to produce a sound installation in Preston City Centre, UK by In Certain Places (The Arcade). Recent exhibitions and performances include: 10th International Biennial of Contemporary Print at Liege’s Museum of Fine Art, Belgium and the Guanlan International Print Biennial in Shenzhen, China; Modern Histories vol. III, Bury Museum and Art Gallery, Manchester UK (2015); Circuit Bridges New York Concert (2015); Kinokophonography Night at The New York Public Library for Performing Arts (2015, 2014);

Tracy Hill

Tracy Hill’s cross-disciplinary practice investigates and reconsiders the relationship between our developing digital capability and the aesthetic and traditions of the hand created mark.  Current investigations consider the historical legacy of spatiotemporal, post-industrial landscapes through combinations of installation, print and hand drawn imagery.

Through her work Hill reconnects with experience, knowledge and memory of the physical encounter of travelling on foot where our digital and physical worlds overlap.

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Recent projects exploring liminal post-industrial landscapes are Sensorium and Matrix of Movement, which explores a modern obsession for locating, ordering and fragmenting journeys through digital mapping.  Experience and memory are reconnected to the physical landscape exploring our relationship with travelling on foot across our landscapes. Partnerships with organisations such as the Wildlife Trust UK and National Parks NSW Australia on her recent project Common Ground and international residency in Newcastle NSW Australia have allowed a re-imagining of protected wetlands through critically engaged practice.

Hill’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. In 2016 China Printmaking Museum purchased ‘The Waste’ for inclusion in their permanent Fine Print collection. Works from ‘Sensorium’ were also awarded the Printmaking Today prize as part of the 2016 Print Prize RBSA gallery Birmingham. In 2013 Hill received a commission to design and produce a permanent site specific installation as part of the Festival of Contemporary Art in Warrington exploring lost pathways along the Mersey corridor.

Recent exhibitions include: Every Breath, The Lock Up, Newcastle, Australia; Common Ground, The Curve Newcastle, Australia; Common Ground, Editions Ltd, Liverpool; Guanlan International Print Biennial, Shenzhen, China; Bound by Process, The Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, UK; Print Prize International, RBSA, Birmingham, UK ; V. International Print Exhibition, the Painting and Sculpture Museums Association, Istanbul(2016) Statements, Kloster Bentlage, Germany; On Paper, Sala Romona, Barcelona, Spain; Guanlan International Print Biennial, Shenzhen, China (2015)  Antipodean Cuts, Curve Gallery, Liverpool; Penpal, Brieffreundschaft, Kolner Graphikwerkstatt, Koln; International Print Triennial, Bunkier Sztuki, Krakow (2012)

Collaborative Projects


The AA2A project provides placements for visual artists and designer makers in Higher and Further Education institutions across England. In 2016-2017, AA2A schemes will run in 20 institutions, providing around 80 placements nationally. In the last 17 years, around 1,760 participants have realised projects and researched techniques using workshops and supporting facilities in participating fine art and design departments.

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Permanent Print

The Permanent Print research project is a partnership between the Artlab Contemporary Print Studios and the Silicate Research Unit based at the University of Central Lancashire.

We are interested in all forms of print research using print combined with refractory concrete, ceramics and glass.

Our aims are to further this under developed area using multi-disciplinary practice based methods to explore the full possibilities of combining image, surface and form.

Print and Ceramics have a long history of working together, often with print applied to a form after it has been designed and produced in ceramics.

This relationship has been widely recognised by both disciplines and there have been a number of very successful symposiums that have explored the relationship between printmaking and ceramic production over the years, however the nature of this relationship means that printmakers are often removed from creating form.

The Permanent Print symposium has been an opportunity for artists, printmakers ceramicists and designers to use their individual skills and experience to explore the possibilities of working across these ancient disciplines from the very start of the making process.

We have held two symposium’s at UCLAN where artists, printmakers, ceramicists and designers came together to research over multiple days of intensive practice led research and experimentation.

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Artist’s book and record labels

We continuing developing and supporting Artists’ book projects. We have a history of producing limited editions for record labels. Some of the projects bridge between record sound pieces and visual artefacts.

Supported Artists

John Angus

Indeterminate Portraits

This series of screenprints celebrates the visual effects of half-tone dots in image reproduction, and refers to the role of art in the promotion and maintenance of social and economic power.  The images are derived from details of black and white reproductions in an art history book of photographs of rooms in the palace of Versailles.

John Angus Work

Helen Cammock

Cammock’s practice explores history and storytelling through layered, fragmented narratives using a range of mediums including video, photography, installation, print and performance. She interrogates the ways stories are told, the hierarchy of histories and who is rendered invisible and therefore unacknowledged. With multiple registers of the voice – singing, speaking, poetry – and multiple voices, Cammock ventriloquises; crossing time and place to create associations between cultural and political moments, linking past to present. Her work is prefaced by writing, borrowing the words of others to use alongside her own as a way of re-telling histories that have been silenced, unheard, unrecorded and untold in favour of the generalised, dominant histories we read, teach and tell today. Her work is often based on research, found materials and conversations the work creates intersectional dialogues that look at singular and collective power, questioning the role of the individual and asking us to consider where we sit within the political and social spaces we inhabit.

Helen Cammock's Work

Cherry Tenneson

Outward journeys must not be in the past

This was a project which consisted of a series of site-specific signs and posters made for Preston‘s transport hubs in April 2015. The project was commissioned by In Certain Places.

The signs and posters referenced the significant amount of British modernist transport signage in Preston and sought to explore how the intended clarity and purity of these modernist designs, originally from the late 1950s to late 1960s, now exist in the present day, if at all. Named after a National Rail error message, the project emphasises the conflicting styles and messages which have developed in the city over time. 

Cherry Tennesons Work

Anna Júlía Friðbjörnsdottir


I am looking into European glass beads (trade beads) as an item used as currency in the slave trade and other exploitation in Africa and the New World. I am interested the bead´s cultural, social and economic relevance in Europe´s history. (See fact sheet from V&A attached). At the moment it is a two part research – in two different coasts of Europe – Venice as the main site of production and Liverpool as the biggest slave-trade harbour and exporter of beads in Europe in the second half of 18th century. In Liverpool I hope to identify certain bead types and their value especially through trade records and make a hypothesis of the price of a slave in beads.

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I am in touch with Alex Balch at CSIS (Centre for the Study of International Slavery) at the University of Liverpool who has been very helpful and is trying to connect me with people there who could assist me. The main source will be The Merseyside Maritime Archives with records on local traders such as William Davenport, their cargo and information on bead value. The archives are unfortunately closed until spring 2018 although there are some exhibits in the Slavery Museum. I am also in touch with Zachary Kingdon, curator of Ethnology collections at the World Museum. They have some beads which are thought to be mostly from after abolition although the items are not catalogued and very limited information available. My adviser on the pearls is an Italian bead specialist and collector, Augusto Panini who is the main adviser for the Glass Museum in Murano, Venice. Together we will identify and choose appropriate beads for my work which we will then have made in Venice. This year I have also visited West Africa which, partly led to my interest in the slave trade.

Cherry Tennesons Work

Rebecca Chesney

I am interested in how we perceive land: how we romanticise, translate and define urban and rural spaces.

I look at how politics, ownership, management and commercial value all influence our surroundings.

My projects take the form of installations, interventions, drawings, maps and walks. 

Heather Ross

All the better to hear you with 

‘All The Better To Hear You With’ centres around the re-activation of an old Jardine Treadle Press, housed at The Merz Barn, Cumbria. The press originally belonged to the late Gwyneth Alban, a contemporary of Kurt Schwitters, who was working alongside him and resident at the Merz Barn site, during his time in the Lake District. At this point, Gwyneth Alban was running her own business and printmaking studio out of an old abandoned caravan that she found in the woods – she called this ‘The Caravan Press’. After her death, her son returned her press, type and archive to the Merz Barn, as a reminder of her legacy.

Read more about Heather

This project has been developed and produced across two sites: at the Merz Barn. Cumbria and with the help and expertise of the printmaking studio at UCLan. My research has focussed on using the press to explore my interest in the ambiguity of sound within print (specifically relating to bird call) – connecting my work with the rural surroundings of Merz Barn and to the ideas of Kurt Schwitters, as expressed in his written works: Consistent Poetry(1923)and typography, orthography and small letters (1928). Formally these texts have guided my approach to printing, in conjunction with the visual design and layout of the book, ‘Kurt Schwitters in England,’ (1958) written, designed and published by Stefan Themerson (co-founder of The Gaberbocchus Press).

Materially speaking, the work has developed into a large scale performative, printed installation, which will incorporate : 160 index card prints; 160 copper etched printing blocks; mobile sculptural cabinets (relating to Gwyneth’s caravan) and twelve wall based, type-set prints.

Heather Ross's Work

Conversations / Past Projects

Digital Aesthetics

Digital Aesthetic³ 2012- Exhibition and conference

Tracy and Magda co-curated the digital printmaking part of the exhibition PR1 and Harris Museum and hosted and run community workshops) It showcases the latest and best in digital art through a programme of exhibitions, events and a two-day conference. It is the third and final manifestation of the Digital Aesthetic Project 2001-2012, collaboration between Print Studios, the Electronic and Digital Art Unit at UCLAN and the Harris Museum and Art Gallery.

Bound By Process

Bound by Process created dialogues between 20th century prints from the Harris Museum & Art Gallery collections and work by artists Alex McIntosh, Kathryn Poole, Theresa Taylor and Tracy Hill.   The dual venue exhibition created a unique and diverse collection of works grounded in traditional processes while challenging understanding of printmaking through contemporary fine art practice.

ImpressIt Exhibition


Impressit’ brought together a selection of invited artists in a curated exhibition of works  exploring both traditional printmaking processes as well as works which challenge and redefine the ideas of printmaking and installation of paper works.

Exhibition Harris Museum and art Gallery 2013

Tracy Hill and Magda Stawarska-Beavan, curatorial role, coordinated students placement, coordinated workshops and curatorial talks at the Harris) (5500 visitors /requests to collaborate in the future)

Talking Prints

Talking Prints

Part of the Artlab Contemporary Print programme, Talking Prints was a series of talks by invited artists exploring issues within contemporary printmaking, discussing current research, new developments in technologies and professional studio practice. Each talk was followed by informal conversations and viewing the visiting artist’s portfolio.

Invited Artist:

Frances Disley
Marta Lech
Wuon-Gean Ho
Jo Stockham
Paul Laidler
Richard Noyce
Christina Wrege
Jason Hicklin
Sara Ogilvie

Paul Thirkell
Steven Hoskins
Gerry Baptist
Jadranka Njegovan
Katherine Jones
Bren Unwin
Oran O’Reilly
Keith Brown
Paul Coldwell
Sarah Bodman