Seacourt Print Workshop offers a range of printmaking courses to everyone from beginners, intermediate and professional artists. We are excited to launch one of our first programme of courses in The Ulster Bank Building, Bangor, Northern Ireland!
We are offering a range of courses, from a 2 hour CREATE print taster and one day workshops to a full introduction on a specific technique. Sign up to our newsletter to receive our ongoing programme, we drop courses every 6 weeks.
We can also design a workshop to suit your needs, whatever your celebration or project, we can build a creative session that you’ll enjoy together and you get to take home you own original artwork.
Have a browse or contact us for further information on planning a printmaking workshop around your needs.
My response was in reaction to the German Soldier’s recollection of that fateful day 1st July 1916. I created a book to show his testimony of how that day unfolded. He described the peacefulness of a beautiful early morning, the piercing summer blue sky, the sound of the leaves and bird song amongst the trees in Thiepval woods.
In glaring contrast the memory of the attack; mud, barbed wire, bodies in green spread over the land, artillery bombardment and carnage, the barren landscape, trees desecrated; 19,240 leaves turned to brown. The footage from home portrayed a different war, the wife of a soldier experienced emotional suffering and grief on receiving that letter. They had no repatriation of their loved ones, a white grave in a foreign land, or disappeared to the earth, a 66 – letter epitaph.
My work was placed in a box, in reference to the books of names of the fallen that are held in the walls at the Thiepval Memorial in France.
A triptych in response to an interview of a WW1 machine gunner with the Ulster Division at the Battle of the Somme, July 1916. How he spoke with some pride in the understanding of what made a good machine gunner – as a mechanic would of grasping the principles of what makes an engine run well. Of his place within the infantry; of the team of men and equipment needed to transport the gun and ammunition; of how to avoid jamming the weapon or wearing out barrels prematurely; of how to use it most efficiently.
My different outlook on war made me see the whole exercise in terms of each side being involved in the delivery of lead into fellow humans. Their training, equipment and deployment all aiming to deliver more death to their opposite numbers than could be delivered to them.
They were ordinary men remade into a lethal Parcel Force.
The work, Dark Echo, was produced as a response to the film footage viewed and inspiration was taken from the conversations across all ten clips.
The process of recording the information from the footage was initially completed in written note form and for the last 6 clips the recording changed to drawing – The sketches produced encapsulated a visceral response to the conversations – listening helped to visualise the landscape, the darkness in the trenches, the smells and the fear that was vocalised throughout the footage. These feelings were then expressed through mark making, culminating in a series of mixed media drawings. Each drawing was unintentionally linked by a common theme. This process then enabled me to produce a series of mixed media screen prints, depicting desolate, barren landscapes in an abstract and expressive way.
In the nineteen sixty six anniversary of the Somme battle, interviews were mainly of Ulster veterans from the First World War. The lack of empathy shown by the interviewer in his questioning was stark.
Behind the mask of detailed facts asked of these people lie tragic stories: how did they come to terms with what happened to them and how did that affect the rest of their lives?
One women (unnamed) was given a small chance to speak of her grief. She still retained a sense of profound bewilderment as to what had happened to her husband, even after forty years. She couldn’t understand the speed with which he had gone from a man full of health as he waved her goodbye, to a corpse. The suggestion was that he had died of some kind disease very soon after he left. It is reckoned that tens of thousands died at the front from disease alone.
As the woman spoke of the postman delivering the stark letter telling of her husband’s sudden death, I imagined the horror of that moment for her and her children, and how she would now manage to keep herself and her children alive.
This must have been the lot of many women who suffered and struggled as she did. Their pain lasted a lifetime too.
Towards a Yellow Sky is a multi-layered screen print incorporating expressive mark-making, digital manipulation techniques, abstract code and conceptualised colour fields.
A subject never previously explored by the artist. This uniquely immersive project presented the opportunity to be part of a shared creative response among peer group printmakers from Seacourt Print Workshop.
Personal accounts of war, as told by those who experienced it first-hand, were deconstructed and reimagined in two dimensions, with sensitivity and respect.
“I was mindful that what I wanted to represent was a visceral response to the stories told, a sensation and feeling.
The yellow sky was mentioned in one of the stories and I was very moved by the image that conjured in my mind – the idea of going towards a yellow sky – underpinned by the brutality of war and men going towards their death.
I translated the phrase “towards and yellow sky” into morse code and used digital manipulation techniques to abstract and obscure the code. These were exposed to a screen and printed in multiple layers. The effects resemble communication and code on a number of levels, newsprint, DNA, braille, and I liked that they were combined into a visual language that would be part of the vertical landscape.”
Firestorm is a collagraph print and I made this a response to images in The North and South Irish at the Front, Part 1
Scorched Earth is a collagraph print and The North and South Irish at the Front, Part 2, is the film clip that moved me to create this.
Trench Warfare was a collagraph print I made as a response to the soldier’s explanation of “going over the top”. The film clip was from With Heart and Hand: Battle of the Somme
Fire in the sky is a collagraph print that I created as a response to images in The North and South Irish at the Front, Part 1
SEACOURT RELOCATES TO BANGOR TOWN CENTRE!
SEACOURT COMES FULL CIRCLE WITH RELOCATION TO ICONIC BUILDING IN HEART OF TOWN CENTRE
Seacourt Print Workshop is delighted to be taking up residence in the Ulster Bank Building, on Bangor Main Street.
The building has stood unoccupied since 2017 following the closure of the bank but many of the banking idiosyncrasies remain, such as the beautiful, caged vault, pneumatic tube banking systems, and the iconic front elevation, which is Grade B1 listed. The building was built in 1920 and in its 101st year we hope to bring it back to life, contributing to the regeneration of Bangor, and its revival as an arts and culture destination, locally and beyond.
As we celebrate our 40th anniversary we feel extremely fortunate to be moving into such a well-known premises, at the heart of our hometown, where it all began, in 1981. Seacourt is an open access printmaking studio which is utilised by people of all ages with fantastic resources, ranging from etching and letterpress to lithography and screen-printing. A town centre location has been a long-held ambition for our charity and we hope to play a part encouraging more people to Bangor’s town centre with a dedicated exhibition space and programme of high profile exhibitions.
Our 80 members are looking forward to welcoming people to exhibitions, events, and workshops later in the year as we celebrate our 40th anniversary in our unique new home. As early as next month, the public can expect to see a number of new courses on offer, such as ‘Print and Prosecco’, a new membership certification course, and lots of workshops and events in the pipeline for 2022.
As we have packed up our prints, our inks and equipment in our Balloo premises we have enjoyed rifling through our workshop uncovering lots of amazing equipment, interesting archive documents including a letter from Hilary Clinton to our co-founder Margaret Arthur, dating back to 1998, following her exhibition at the United States Capitol Rotunda, Washington DC.
Seacourt’s Director Emma Drury says, “We very much hope Seacourt’s new town centre location will place us back on local people’s radar. When we held our #bangorbythesea town centre pop-up event in 2019, we realised that many (local residents) didn’t know where we landed after we left the basement of the Carnegie Library. We hope that being in close proximity to transportation links will help us open up our services to more people during what will be a pivotal time for our organisation’s development.”
What the motivations were for moving.
The Ulster Bank is Seacourt’s fifth and forever home. We look back fondly to our time at Seacourt Teacher’s Centre and in the basement of Carnegie Library where we were close to the centre of Bangor. In the early 1990’s we hoped to secure a town centre location and undertook a feasibility study and drew up some ambitious plans but we were unable to find premises that worked and we relocated to Balloo industrial estate. Our services grew again and we took a larger unit but whilst we had lots of space we lacked passing visitors and community.
As Bangor moves towards regeneration we wanted to locate our organisation in the centre of things and play our part in the changes that are ahead. We believe that our town centre needs cultural organisations to help rejuvenate and attract people to have experiences.
We will be working over time to renovate and redevelop the Ulster Bank Building ensuring the building is improved and does not stand empty and fall into disrepair. We are excited about the potential the building offers for creativity.
When will Seacourt be open again or hope to be open again.
Seacourt will be open to our members by the beginning of October and we will be offering exhibtions, courses and events over the coming months. We are celebrating our 40th anniversary and will be welcoming people in to a series of celebrations between October and December 2021.
What the benefits are of the new Seacourt HQ.
Our new building places us in a landmark building in the town centre where we can connect people to creativity. We hope this will allow us to grow our membership, increase the health and wellbeing driven services we offer and give our artists the opportunity to share their amazing work with greater numbers of people.
We will also bring imagination and entrepreneurship to the town centre. Working with partners like Open House and Boom Studios we want to help the cultural life of the town consolidate and grow, providing employment for artists and engaging people of all ages in creative activities.
Our new building is 5 minutes walk from the train station and the excellent public transport links will help us be more accessible.
“We are thrilled to return to Bangor’s town centre and we will play an active role in rebuilding the Main Street and in the broader regeneration of the town. We think there is huge potential in the town and hope we can work with others to see it grown and develop.”
We have just launched a modest selection of courses for the Autumn based in our new premises. We have been carrying out some essential maintenance to the interior of the building to get it ready for our members to return and invite you all to visit our new home in due course. We will also be exhibiting Joanne Fitzpatrick’s ‘Reconstruct’ exhibition once we open, on the lead up to our annual members’ Christmas Exhibition.
You can travel to Seacourt by car, bus or train and there is plentiful, reasonably priced parking throughout the town including at the rear of Bingham Mall, the Seafront and the Vennel.
Halloween Collagraph Masks For Kids
Tutor: Rosy Ennis
Friday 29th October
10am to 12noon (drop-in)
Join Rosy Ennis for this drop-in class at Seacourt Print Workshop, this half-term. Rosy will teach your little ones how to create collagraph print impressions, culminating in their very own Halloween masks to take home with them.
Seacourt are hosting several events as part of creative peninsula 2022, including; family printmaking workshops, cyanotype, letterpress and much more..
Join Seacourt Print Workshop this Spring for a full programme of printmaking courses including screen printing, salt etch, traditional etching, mono printing and many more…
In spring 2021, Northern Ireland Screen’s Digital Film Archive commissioned six artists from Seacourt Print Workshop in Bangor to make a creative response to With Heart and Hand, a UTV programme made in 1966 to commemorate the Battle of the Somme.
From left: Ken Sterrett (Chairperson), Margaret Arthur (Co-founder), Emma Drury (Director), Nathalie Caleyron (Member) and