This exhibition is a celebration of wildlife delivered through a wide range of printmaking techniques. Carry Akroyd, Robert Greenhalf, Kittie Jones and Jenny McCabe present a dazzling array of etchings, screenprints, woodcuts, monotypes and collagraphs inspired by nature.

Carry Akroyd lives on the edge of the Fens. She draws inspiration from the arable landscape around her where wildlife lives on the margins of agriculture. Carry produces much of her work as serigraphs, or screenprints. This technique relies on a fine mesh (the screen) through which the ink is pushed. Stencils are applied to the screen to block certain areas and the image is built in successive layers. Carry explains “I spend ages cutting a tissue paper stencil and I estimate what effect a layer of colour may have, but it is always a surprise when the ink is pushed through the screen and I lift it up to see what happened. I’m playing with colour and shape but always informed by the lived experience in the landscape.”

Robert Greenhalf is based in Rye, in East Sussex, close to Romney Marsh which inspires much of his work, as does his own wild garden. He also travels with the SWLA and Art for Nature Foundation on specific projects and his prints and paintings are rooted in these experiences in nature. His favourite printmaking technique is woodcut. This involves carving areas out of a block of wood, or plate, then inking the surface with a roller (leaving the areas carved out without colour) and finally printing onto paper using a printing press. The process is repeated in layers for each colour. Robert also creates monoprints or monotypes. These are more akin to painting as the artist creates areas of colour on a plate (of metal or plastic) using rollers or painting directly on the plate, which is then printed as a one-off print.

Kittie Jones is based in Edinburgh. Her practice focuses on drawing and printmaking. She produces mixed-media drawings on paper, unique multi-layered monotypes and small-edition screenprints. She is an artist drawn to edges: she regularly finds herself sketching topside of a rocky cliff documenting the shifting landscapes of the coast. Here she presents a range of responses to shorelines and their wildlife. A number of prints are inspired by the seabird colonies in the Firth of Forth and on the East Lothian coast. Through making unique monotypes and small-edition screenprints, Kittie translates the energy of the drawn mark into an often complex, layered response.

Jenny McCabe is based in Lancaster. She specialises in etchings and collagraphs. Etchings are drawings scratched, or etched with acid, into a metal plate. The plate is then inked and buffed. The ink held in the groves is printed onto paper using an etching press. Jenny also produces collagraphs. In a collagraph, the plate is constructed from various textured materials such as paper, cardboard, textiles, which are cut and collaged together then inked and printed like an etching. Jenny explains: “My process always starts with a messy, scratchy drawing from birding walks in my local area and my final prints are constructed layer by layer using multiple printing plates. I like the technical finesse of traditional printmaking and I enjoy the interplay between creativity and precision.”

More work by top wildlife artists can be found in our online art shop