It’s that time of year again folks…

May brings the Brighton Fringe Festival and we are putting the finishing touches to our show. We have had some work done on the lovely old building and hope that the weather stays nice and clement so that we can throw open our restored double doors!

We have two new artists displaying this year (stand by for their Print-maker Profile posts) as well as some new work by the old guard… we hope you can make it along.


Every Sat & Sun between 1pm & 5pm through May plus the first weekend of June.


Printmaker Profile : Ray Dennis

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I was born in Hertfordshire 1956, and have been an artist ever since- or for at least, as long as I can remember! By 1976 without intending to, I became a commercial screen printer and graphic artist which allowed me to pay the rent and to continue to paint…

I moved to Sheffield in ‘79 where the screen printing continued for another four years until I decided to take on formal art education and completed a Degree in fine art Painting at Sheffield Polytechnic were I learned, amongst many other things, etching and aquatint.

The learning continues.

On graduating, I moved to Brighton to work as a fine art printmaking technician at Brighton Polytechnic. A job I applied for and was offered, but didn’t much care for nor intend to do for more than a couple of years…That was in 1988.

I have been fortunate enough to work with some brilliant artists and students over the past 27 years- some of whom are current members of North Star studios – and have been able to continue to develop my own practice and exhibit as an artist.

Being a figurative artist first and foremost, I have always been drawn to the likes of Goya, Bosch, Whistler, and the Dutch and Italian painters, Caravaggio particularly, surrealists such as Leonora Carrington, Magritte and so on, and I have a particular interest in Japanese culture including printmaking –traditional and contemporary.

I have exhibited nationally and internationally and have work in the collection of Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts Russia.

ray dennis mezzotint of russian astronaut

Ray Dennis : “Russian Icon” Mezzotint

My main area of are practice is Mezzotint, a copper plate engraving process invented in mid 17th century Amsterdam and soon after brought to England where it was perfected and became known as ‘The English Process’ or ‘The Black Manner’

A curved, serrated tool known as a ‘Rocker’ is used to apply a ground of burrs to a copper plate until the surface resembles fine sandpaper. This surface will hold and print a rich, velvet black layer of ink. Where this surface is scraped away and reduced using steel scamper/burnishing tools, a tonal image can be created, hence: Mezzotint or ‘Half-Tone’.

This beautiful and laborious process allows me to produce work with a distinctive character and quality not easy to achieve with other intaglio printmaking processes.

My children have regularly featured in my work; The way we grow, and learn and understand our world through play, no matter what our age, continues to fascinate me.

The image on a Mezzotint plate gradually reveals itself out of the dark background. There is the point between the unseen and the understood, the obscure and the enlightened which is the point of discovery, the ‘reveal’ from matrix to paper, this is what makes a printmaker a printmaker.

printmaker Ray Dennis is based at North Star Studios in Brighton

Ray Dennis : “Egg Hunting” Mezzotint

Printmaker Profile : Ann March

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Foundation/ Pre- Dip course at Worthing Art College.

Graphics at Newport Art College, mainly in the Litho Room, taught by Derek Butler.

PGCE Brighton Art College.

lithographic printmaker Ann is exhibiting her prints at North Star in Brighton this May

Ann March : “Iron Embrace” Lithograph

Raised a family. Ran a business. Still running that business.

Did a refresher course in lithography at North Star Studios, taught by the great Maxie Vellenoweth.

Started Etching at North Star Studios, taught by Pete Kosowitz and Mary Gillet… also great.

Exhibited in the R.A. Summer Exhibition three times. Almost, accepted but not hung, about another five times.

Various Open Art Exhibitions over the years.

All my prints have been printed at North Star Studios.

north star studio print exhibitor, Ann March is showing etchings and lithography

Ann March : “Urban Landscape” Etching

Printmaker Profile : Matthew Hainsby

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Working in four colour process CMYK screenprinting I attempt to conjure nostalgia, melancholy and mild wonder.
10 years of playing and touring with Brighton band Fujiya & Miyagi has been a big influence on my work, travel though countries and cities glimpsed only too briefly combined with amazing people has left a lasting impression.
With hazy recollection my work tries to piece together and document these half remembered journeys as if from a road weary tourists point of view.

screenprinter Mattew Hainsby is exhibiting his CMYK prints at North Star Studio in Brighton during the fringe festival

Matthew Hainsby : “Untitled” CMYK process screenprint


Printmaker Profile : Charlie Lewis Lloyd

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Most of the prints showing here were produced using the liquid light technique, brushing the silver gelatin emulsion onto paper. The images may have been taken as part of various different projects or series,  but are here presented as one offs.
Being a photographer that is part of a printing collective has changed how I feel about my work. There is at times an increased focus on texture or contrast for example, as opposed to whether or not an image supports a theoretical framework.
photography by north star studio member Charlie Lewis Lloyd

Charlie Lewis Lloyd : “Untitled”

Printmaker Profile : Patrick Madden

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My  work, which is geometric forms arranged to achieve harmony and  balance between surface, colour, and form, has developed during my MA  to include concepts which have evolved around my interest in Physics,  chaos theory and the natural world.

My ideas are centred on uniting  modern abstraction with ancient mystical beliefs. I use traditional  printmaking techniques such as aquatint, monotype, etching and woodcut.

My recent work is in part derived from my interest in sacred geometry I  am now in the process of developing ideas while trying to grasp the  complexity behind such concepts and its relationship to modern physics.

north star exhibitor Patrick Madden's work

Patrick Madden : “Sdoic”



Printmaker Profile : Sherrie-Leigh Webb

Undergrowth (It Stands Desolate and Waiting) by Sherrie-Leigh Webb

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Sherrie-Leigh Webb graduated from the University of Brighton in 2012 with a BA (Hons) Fine Art Printmaking degree. She explores imaginary landscapes through a process of layering and collaging her own drawings and photographs, found imagery and printmaking techniques.

Drawing inspiration from Science Fiction novels, mythology and romanticism, her work transcends past, future and present offering a means of escapism. She is Interested in creating a journey through vast, imagined landscapes, exploring the uncanny often found in abandoned buildings, neglected land, vast woodlands and places of natural phenomena and wonder.

Cellulose transfer by Sherrie-Leigh Webb

Sherrie-Leigh Webb : “Undergrowth (Amongst It All)” (cellulose transfer)

Depicting landscapes that explore the ideas of time travel, ever changing seasons and environments, juxtaposing the real and fantastical, lush vegetation and mountainous formations exist in solid and liquid states with abstracted formations hinting at traces of human absence. Suggested narratives offer a transportation to mythological realms, where mysterious discoveries are made tangible through personalised and fantastical portals.

Cellulose transfer by Sherrie-Leigh Webb

Sherrie-Leigh Webb : “Undergrowth (Nearly There)” (cellulose transfer)


Printmaker Profile : Rose Dixie


Drypoint print on paper by Rose Dixie

Drawing forms the core of my creative practice. For me it is a means of both trying to convey an experience, and of trying to better understand the experience itself. It is a process of both documentation and discovery.

Although my drawings are always of people, I do not see them as portraits. My figures often evolve through the drawing process taking on my own moods and emotions, becoming expressions of my internal processes, and taking on lives of their own.

anatomical etching on paper by North Star Studio's Rose Dixie

Rose Dixie : Untitled (etching)

anatomical study by Rose Dixie

Rose Dixie : “Head Study 1” (etching)


Thanks to everybody that came in 2015, saw the artwork, asked questions, bought a piece, signed the comments book, followed this blog, etc. etc. etc. What a success that was!


The Etching Area & Press, surrounded by the work of  Frances Quail

Now we are approaching May 2016 and have booked our slot once more with the Brighton Fringe and will be bursting at the seams with upwards of 8 different artists showing their work! Open Studio fever has spread through the group it would seem.

Stand by for 2016 participants’ bios and snapshots – they will start appearing over the coming month. Cheers!

printmaker patrick madden will be exhibiting his geometric studies at the open studio on ditchling road brighton

Printmaker Profile : Patrick Madden

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Our Second exhibitor at the North Star Open Studio is a printmaker who primarily creates his work with the relief press but experiments and explores numerous techniques to get the desired finish or effect. Along with his small prints in the browser, Patrick will be showing his huge pieces too, expansive geometric studies on hand coloured stock.

The piece shown above is entitled “Intuitive Simplicity”

North Star Printmaker Patrick Madden

Patrick Madden : “The Weight Of Truth” (relief print)

geometric studies by Patrick Madden / Pauric

Patrick Madden : “The Nature Of Magnitudes”