About Us

About Us

Black Church Print Studio is located at number 4 Temple Bar, in the heart of Dublin’s City Centre. As part of the redevelopment of Temple Bar in 1994, the Studio’s 4-storey building was custom built as a printmaking workshop. Black Church Print Studio has a Cultural Use Agreement with Dublin City Council for the use of this building. At ground level, there is a double height gallery space, where Black Church Print Studios’ programmes exhibitions for two months per year. Above the gallery space, on the first floor is a lithographic, relief print and digital print workshop area. The second floor is the etching (Intaglio) workshop area. The top floor provides a workshop for screen print, an analogue photography and photo-etching darkroom. All workshop floors are shared spaces which is conducive to the sharing of ideas, skill-sets and establishing a strong community atmosphere.

The Studio currently has 85 Studio artists members, who are all key-holders, and who have 24-hour access to the Studio. Black Church Print Studio supports its member artists in their careers, which includes, making affordable studio space available with access to specialised printmaking equipment. It also includes opportunities for peer learning, career development, exhibiting, and strengthening exchange through building networks. It is a resource to external artists also by providing non-member access programmes, national and international residencies, learning opportunities, and fine art printing services. In addition, it provides public and community engagement opportunities through exhibitions, workshops and open-days. It is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors, which includes artist members and independent external experts. Paid staff are responsible for the day-to-day operational and programme management of the Studio.

Black Church Print Studio is a not-for-profit organisation and has charitable status. It is funded by the Arts Council, Dublin City Council and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media in Ireland.

In addition to its core work, the studio runs five critically acclaimed programmes:

1. International Artist in Residence Award

2. Black Church Process Residency Award

3. Student & Graduate Award

4. Emerging Curator Awar

5. Exhibition & Events Programme

Our Pillars

Make. Learn. Exhibit. Perserve. Collect.

Our Vision

Black Church Print Studio aims to promote fine art printmaking as an artform and underpin our artists in their (traditional and experimental) print practice.

Our Mission

Black Church Print Studio’s mission is to enable and elevate contemporary printmaking practices. We do so by providing affordable studio access, specialised equipment, professional support and development opportunities to a community of printmaking artists in a custom-built print workshop in the heart of Dublin’s City Centre with a local, national and international remit.

Principal objectives

  • Provide a well-managed, fully equipped, professional facility with technical, administrative and digital support for full-time members, dedicated printmakers and the wider public.
  • Maintain a programme of activities that supports professional development and our Public Engagement Plan.
  • Promote our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Policy by providing access to the public through our artistic, education and community programmes.
  • Ensure equitable payments as per Black Church Print Studio’s Paying the Artist Policy.
  • Develop relationships with educational institutions and schools by facilitating tours, demonstrations, workshops, internships, work placements in line with our Child Protection Policy.
  • Develop national and international exchanges and residencies.
  • Partner and collaborate with other print studios across Ireland.
  • Maintain and develop networks with other arts organisations through collaborations and partnerships.
  • Provide graduate and undergraduate award schemes to Third Level Fine Art students.
  • Build and maintain our Print Archive Collection (1982 – present).

Governance

Black Church Print Studio is committed to comply with the Charities Regulator’s Charities Governance Code and with the principles of good fundraising. It also complies with financial reporting standards and generally accepted accounting practice and its audited accounts are prepared in line with the Charity SORP.

Board of Directors

Consists of nine directors, five of which (including the Chairperson) are artist members of the Studio while four are external directors. Studio artist Board members are appointed by the Studio membership and the Board appoints the external directors. The external directors provide expertise in other areas such as law, finance and communications while also having a strong interest in the visual arts. The directorship is for a period of three years with the option to continue for a further two years.

Órla Goodwin, Chair

(11/2019 – 11/2024, Appointed Chair 02/24)

Órla Goodwin is a Dublin based artist and a member of Black Church Print Studio. With a background in costume for theatre, she graduated with a MFA in Fine Art from NCAD. Her work engages various mediums, primarily print based. It looks to ideas of filters and masks created through layers of representation, fragmenting the relationship between reality and fantasy. Currently Órla is the Learing & Public Engagement Curator at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios.

Alan Crowley, Secretary

(03/2022 – 03/2025, Appointed Secretary 03/2022)

Alan Crowley trained in Limerick School of Art & Design as a traditional printmaker, he completed an undergraduate course of study in 2009 and an MA by Research in 2012. Since 2014 he has been employed as an assistant lecturer in TUSS Limerick School of Art & Design. Here he delivers instruction to undergraduate Animation & Motion Design learners. His area of specialization is drawing and stop motion. In his own art practice, he incorporate printmaking, sculpture and filmmaking. These projects are informed by drawing, traditional photography, creative writing, and contextual research. Working with both traditional and digital means, he enjoys combining classical approaches to art making with contemporary media and processes.

Eamonn Griffin, Treasurer

(01/2022 – 01/2025, Appointed Treasurer 1/2022)

Eamonn Griffin is a Chartered Accountant by profession. Up to his retirement at the end of 2014 he was a Senior Partner in RSM Farrell Grant Sparks. Since then he has undertaken consultancy assignments in his specialist fields of taxation, business strategy and succession. Over the years he has held board positions in both the private and the not for profit sectors with a particular focus on accounting services, property, film and animation, human rights and creative writing education.

Cathleen Noctor

(09/2022 – 09/2025)

Cathleen Noctor is a senior counsel practising law for the main part in Dublin. She has a varied legal practice and a special interest in visual arts and music.

Ann Gilleece

(03/2022 – 03/2025)

Born in Cork, Ann studied music at the Royal College of Music, London and then pursued a career as a viola player, working in Ireland (RTE Symphony and Concert orchestras and New Irish Chamber Orchestra) and Italy (Arena di Verona opera orchestra, Teatro Comunale, Bologna) for many years before studying Italian, German and Linguistics at Trinity College, Dublin. She lectured at third level for a number of years, before retiring in 2021. Ann’s interest in the visual arts began in 2002 when she was invited to participate in a print workshop in Airfield, Dundrum. She then took a number of print-related courses and eventually became a member of the Black Church Print Studio. She is also a member of the Dublin Painting and Sketching Club and is Assistant Treasurer of the Water Colour Society of Ireland, of which she is also a member. Ann holds a BA , an M.A, a H.Dip in Education and an A.R.C.M.

Caroline Byrne

(11/2019 – 11/2024)

Caroline Byrne is an artist originally from Waterford. She completed her degree in The College of Marketing and Design, TU Dublin, before moving to San Francisco where she lived for five years, working in Graphic Design and Illustration. She returned to Edinburgh College of Art and completed a Masters in Design in 2002. She has been a member of the Black Church Print Studio since 2004. She specialises in relief print and artists books.

Sinéad Kathy Rice

(01/2023 – 01/2026)

Sinéad Kathy Rice is Head of Education at the National Gallery of Ireland where she is responsible for the strategic development of the Education Department, leading the Education Team, and delivering a year-round, diverse, equitable, accessible and inclusive programme onsite, offsite and online. She has particular interest in connecting contemporary practice with historical collections, inclusive learning methodologies, and socially engaged museum practices. Sinéad has worked with civic spaces, charities, cultural organisations and academic institutions in Ireland and abroad since 2007. Originally from Wexford, she studied design at Dublin Institute of Technology before moving to Cork to pursue a BA in Fine Art at Crawford College of Art & Design, majoring in Analogue Photography and Printmaking. Sequentially she received her H.Dip in Visual Arts Education (CCAD), and MA in Modern & Contemporary Art History, Theory and Criticism (University College Cork).

Andrea Marrinan

(01/2024 – 01/2027)

Andrea Marrinan has led some of the most high-profile and long-standing sponsorships in the arts in Ireland. Constantly striving to identify new opportunities and create unique experiences Andrea is driven by the ability arts fundraising has in connecting new audiences to the arts and cultural sector. With national and international experience in both the arts and charity sectors Andrea’s expertise expands across all areas of development from corporate and indivual giving to foundations and major gifts. Andrea received her BA from Trinity College Dublin in Art History & Sociology, before going on to receive an MA in Cites: Art, Architechture & Aspiration from University College Dublin. Andrea is currently the Development Manager at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA).

Maureen Burke

(11/2023 – 11/2026)

Maureen Burke is originally from Leicester UK, now living in Dublin. She was involved in art education in the Further Education sector for many years. Maureen graduated with a BA in
Visual Arts Practice (IADT) an MA in Public Culture Theory (IADT) and a PhD in Art Education (NCAD). She is a member of Black Church Print Studio, and her practice moves between
printmaking, painting and drawing. 

Catriona Leahy

(11/2023 – 11/2026)

Hazel Burke

General Manager

Hazel is responsible for leading Black Church Print Studio to reach its strategic objectives and for implementing the creative direction across our artistic programme; Make, Learn, Exhibit, Perserve, Collect. She has a keen interest in the visual arts and working directly with artists. Her academic background includes a BA in History of Art from UCD and a higher diploma in Arts Management from UCG. Her employment record includes working in public and private galleries in Ireland since 1998 including Douglas Hyde Gallery, Irish Mueseum of Modern Art, and the Solomon Gallery Dublin.

David McGinn

Technical Manager

David is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Studio floors providing technical support and expertise as required to members and non members alike. He also manages our digital printing services available to the public and installs our exhibitions as required. His background is in Fine Art Print and his areas of expertise include Etching, Lithography, Screen Print, Relief Print and Digital. David has previously worked with Dublin based galleries in a technical capacity, including Temple Bar Gallery and Studios and the Project Arts Centre. David is also a practicing artist and has exhibited in numerous exhibitions in Ireland over the years.

Ella Bertilsson - Black Church Teaching Panel

Ella Bertilsson

Member of BCPS Artist Panel

Ella Bertilsson (b. Umeå) is Dublin-based visual artist who weaves dark humour and absurdity into multi-disciplinary artworks. Bertilsson has been a member of the Black Church Print Studio since 2009, she was a member of the Board of Directors between 2017-2019 and is currently part of the sub-committee for the Black Church Process Residency. She is a recipient of the Visual Arts Bursary Award and the Project Award (2022-2023) from the Art Council of Ireland. She has 1st class honours in Fine Art Print (BA) and MFA both awarded from the National College of Art and Design, Ireland (2009, 2015). Forthcoming solo exhibitions at The Dock and Ballina Art Centre (2023), recent solo show; CUT THE CAKE WITH CLAWS, The Complex (2022).  Selected awards include The Arts Council’s; Visual Arts Bursary Award (2022, 2021, 2020), Agility Award (2021), Professional Development Award (2020); South County Council’s Individual Bursary Award (2020), FSAS Digital Media Award (2019), Culture Ireland and Nordic Point Mobility Funding (2018).

Caroline Byrne

Member of BCPS Artist Panel

Born in Waterford, Caroline Byrne studied Graphic Design at the College of Marketing and Design and the College of Technology. She moved to San Francisco, California for five years and in that time worked professionally as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator. Byrne returned to complete a masters in Illustration at the Edinburgh College of Art in 2002. She joined the Black Church Print Studio in 2004. Byrne works primarily in relief print making and creating artists books. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows, in Ireland and the UK.

Byrne is currently a board member of the Black Church Print Studio. Her work is held in private and public collections including including the OPW and The National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL), at the National College of Art and Design.

Siobhan Cox

Member of BCPS Artist Panel
Siobhán graduated from NCAD with a BFA in Printmaking. She utilises etching, aquatint, monotype, drawing and painting to explore themes of nature, security and the human condition. Siobhán’s work has been selected and exhibited nationally and internationally.

Alan Crowley

Member of BCPS Artist Panel

Alan Crowley is a lecturer in the Animation & Motion Design programme at the Limerick School of Art & Design. Trained as a fine art printmaker he also makes work using photography, drawing and sculpture. His practice is concerned with creating visual analogies that are informed by personal experience, cultural observations, and philosophy of mind. Alan has exhibited nationally and internationally and has had the privilege of being favourably reviewed by Cristín Leach for the Sunday Times Culture magazine. 

Caoimhe Dalton - Black Church Teaching Panel

Caoimhe Dalton

Member of BCPS Artist Panel

Caoimhe Dalton is a visual artist and printmaker working in Dublin. She trained as a printmaker and graduated with Honours from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Caoimhe has also studied Fine Arts in Academie Minerva in the Netherlands and the Barcelona Academy of Art. She has been a member of Black Church Print Studio in Dublin since winning the 1st prize John Kelly RHA Award in 2019. Her prints have been exhibited both nationally and internationally and her practice focuses on hands-on, manual processes such as intaglio printmaking, lithography, monotype and painting.

Janine Davidson

Member of BCPS Artist Panel
Born in Belfast, Davidson has been a Studio member since 2001 and previously served on the Board of Directors. She was part of the Artists Panel in IMMA 2007/2008. Her work has been exhibited internationally in New York, Sweden, South Africa, France and here in Ireland. In recent years she has participated in residencies in Johannesburg and Nice. She is a founding member of the artists collective Jeco Sword whose recent exhibitions include Trapezium, at The Lab and This Must Be The Place, at the Irish Museum of Contemporary Art.
Emily Mac Gardle portrait photo

Emily Mc Gardle

Member of BCPS Artist Panel

Emily Mc Gardle is a printmaker from Co. Monaghan. She graduated from Dublin Institute of Technology in 2016 with a First-Class Honours degree in Fine Art and was the inaugural recipient of the Mont Kavanagh Trust Fine Art Award. She received an MA in Print from the Royal College of Art, London in 2020 and was awarded the Augustus Martin Print Prize. Emily has received Established Artist and Emerging Talent awards from Monaghan County Council’s Artist Support Scheme in 2021, 2022, and 2023. She was shortlisted for the 2022 Zurich Portrait Prize, the 2023 Trinity Buoy Wharf Working Drawing Award, and the 2024 Derwent Art Prize.

Louise Peat

Member of BCPS Artist Panel

Louise Peat was born in Dublin where she lives and works. She studied Fine Art at DIT, College of Marketing and Design, where she received an honours Diploma in Painting in 1993, and was conferred a Master in Fine Art in Painting from NCAD in 2011. She is currently on the teaching panel and has previously served on the Board at the Black Church Print Studio where she has been a member since 1990.
Louise’s practice is characterised by an innovative approach to processes, methodologies and media. She employs multiple approaches and strategies in her art practice and is open to an investigation through painting, drawing, print, installation, sound, and digital to create and inform her work. The work includes computer-generated drawings constructed in virtual spaces, scanned paintings and screen shots, which she makes physical through the medium of printmaking. The final pieces are hybrid blends of digital and traditional image-generating
methods by the artist. Louise Peat has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally and received an EVA – Award in 1998 and in 2000 she won the Douglas Hyde Gold Medal and Arts Council Award for painting. Her work is held in many public and private collections.

Vincent Sheridan

Member of BCPS Artist Panel
Vincent Sheridan studied at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin and the Dublin Institute of Technology. He has been working as a full-time artist since 1981. From 1989 to 1998 Sheridan lived and worked as an artist in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada. He returned to Dublin in 1999. In 2007 he graduated with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art. Residencies include West Baffin Eskimo Printshop, Arctic Canada; St Michael’s Print Shop, Newfoundland; Cill Rialaig Art Centre, Kerry and Annaghmakerrig, Tyrone Guthrie Centre. Awards include First Prize (graphics), Claremorris International Exhibition (1989); Best Graphics Award, RHA Exhibition (1992); Ernst & Young Purchase Award (1992) and Image Now Award, Best Use of Multimedia in Fine Art (2007). Sheridan has had a number of solo and group exhibitions in Ireland and Canada.
AnGee Chan Profile pic

AnGee Chan

Member of BCPS Artist Panel

An Gee Chan (b. 1987, Hong Kong) received her M.A. in Fine Art Printmaking from the Royal College of Art (2011) and acquired a B.A. in Illustration and Animation from Kingston University in the UK (2009). She taught Printmaking and Drawing at the Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Bapist University 2014 to 2022. Chan’s practice employs various forms, including prints, drawings, paintings, murals, ceramics, and sometimes installation. Observations and experiences of daily life are important sources of inspiration for her. Such thoughts are transformed into visual records, statements, and comments. Her works have been exhibited in Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, and Manchester, and collected by Hong Kong Heritage Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum.

Our History

Written by Sara Horgan
Founder Member of Black Church Print Studio

Black Church Print Studio first opened for business on 1 October 1982 but the very first committee meeting had been two years before that on 1 January 1980, in my kitchen. The initial Board of Directors was appointed, Liam Ó Broin, Michael Byrne, Pádraig O Cuimín and Phoebe Donovan, who was backing a new enterprise at almost 80 years of age, with myself, Sara Horgan as Secretary and John Kelly as the first rotating Chairman.The only print studio in the country at that time was Graphic Studio Dublin, established 20 years earlier.It was located in a rather dank basement in Upper Mount Street. Patrick Hickey was the Director for the first ten years, John Kelly for another ten and Leslie Mac Weeney, whom I later succeeded, was Secretary.The Arts Council was aware of developments in France and the United States that were reviving the arcane world of printmaking, and in 1977, under the Directorship of Colm Ó Briain, approached Graphic Studio Dublin with a suggestion of expansion. Apart from the cramped and oversubscribed conditions in Upper Mount Street, this expansion was necessary because the National College of Art and Design was undergoing major changes and was about to start awarding diplomas and later degrees in printmaking. Graphic Studio Dublin,as the only existing public printmaking facility in Ireland, would shortly become inadequate.

Black Church Print Studio, Temple Bar – installing printing press through the studio window on the second floor.
The Arts Council’s suggestion was to establish a major national print centre, in much improved premises, to include expanded printmaking facilities catering for the development of innovative and experimental work.The national print centre would also engage in active marketing methods, offer an editioning service to artists, participate in exhibitions both nationally and internationally and tour Studio exhibitions.The search for premises began. Dublin City Librarian Deirdre Ellis-King, who was a colleague of John Kelly’s,suggested we look at St Mary’s Chapel of Ease beside Parnell Square, known as the Black Church for its particular dark stone called Dublin calp. The property had huge potential and the City Development Department offered it to us for a peppercorn rent.We had conversion plans drawn up by Richard Hurley Architects, to include the replacement of what seemed to be crumbling plaster on the walls.Every organic growth has birth pangs and the membership of Graphic Studio Dublin was divided for and against this expansion, with members becoming more and more disaffected. This led to a tumultuous period, which was resolved by a mass meeting in the United Arts Club in 1979, chaired by Professor George Dawson, as a Patron of Graphic Studio Dublin.The majority decided to stay in Upper Mount Street and the group of dissenting members left to continue with expansion plans, therefore splitting from Graphic Studio Dublin.

We set ourselves up as a Company Limited by Guarantee under the name Black Church Print Studio.We submitted conversion plans for the Black Church to the Arts Council, who agreed to give us £80,000, which was a lot of money at the time. However, as the Dublin saying goes,‘Three times around the Black Church and you meet the devil’. As we had concerns about the plaster in the Black Church, we had it analysed and found that it was a double layer of disintegrating asbestos. To remove it would add £40,500 to the cost,which we were unwilling to bear.We started house-hunting again. One of the best options,which came through Pádraig O Cuimín, architect in CIE,was in the area that CIE was reserving for a transport centre in Temple Bar. This was a magnificent ex-clothing factory, too big for our needs.We approached the Arts Council with the idea of them taking on the building and running it as a multiple tenancy of arts organisations –this was already happening in the London docklands and in Scotland. The factory eventually became the Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, under brave Jenny Haughton.We kept the name Black Church Print Studio in the firm hope of the eventual resolution of our housing situation but without working facilities we risked losing all momentum. However, within a short time we rented a unit temporarily at Ardee House at the top of the Coombe. Loughlin Kealy, later Professor of Architecture in University College Dublin, advised us on the initial layout.We settled in, ordering and installing new and second-hand equipment, and establishing workshop practice.

Ms Laura Magahy, former MD of Temple Bar Properties, Mr Leslie Waddington of Waddington Galleries, London and Mr Jan de Fouw by the large format etching press at the official launch of the Black Church Print Studio
The crowd gathers and awaits Mr Leslie Waddington, the official speaker at the launch of the Original Print Gallery and the Black Church Print Studio.

 Black Church Print Studio finally opened in October 1982 with a positive ethos: entry was by invitation or portfolio. At least a token payment for all services rendered was given; one print from every edition was to be donated to the Studio. There was an encouraging studio atmosphere and an open welcome. Learners’ access was by a strict progression from beginner, to working under supervision and to possibly evolving intoa full member and key holder. Experienced printmakers joined, Gráinne Cuffe was the first, followed by Jackie Stanley.We offered beginner printmaking courses in January 1983 and by that September we ran an intensive week to attract artists.We had an excellent line-up:Cecily Brennan, Eithne Jordan, James McCreary, Aileen McKeogh, Theo McNab, Michael O’Sullivan, Rob Smith and Oliver Whelan. By late 1983, Andrew Folan had replaced Liam Ó Broin as a Director on the Board and brought his darkroom experience to the Studio.That same year Graphic Studio Dublin left their Upper Mount Street premises and moved to Green Street East.They also opened a Print Gallery in the Powerscourt Town House on South William Street. Nevertheless,the Arts Council was still pressing for the idea of anational print centre and together both studios looked at a number of alternative buildings for sale.In 1984 the first Black Church Print Studio exhibition was held in the Triskel Art Centre in Cork. The first in Dublin was over Ray’s Restaurant on Crow Street, which travelled to Longford. Our artistic profile was beginning to increase, Gráinne Cuffe was awarded a scholarship to the Tamarind Institute in New Mexico and the Arts Council organised VIP representatives to visit from print societies and museums in Cleveland and Sweden.The first Studio scholarship was awarded to Christy McGinn.We published Ireland’s first commissioned fine art lithograph, Barrie Cooke’s Megaceros Hibernicus (Great Irish Elk), and later we printed a cover illustration by Barrie for a John Montague poetry collection.

 In 1985 the Arts Council, under the new Directorship of Adrian Munnelly, announced that they had agreed with Dublin Corporation to share the cost of the asbestos removal in the Black Church and suggested that the two studios regroup. It was too late.We found ourselves in an enforced marriage of the two Studios, which entailed shared Arts Council budget applications. This system was to be eventually annulled in 1989, ten years after the split. Nonetheless, our members were making their mark in Studio and other exhibitions, Gráinne Dowling won a Salmon poetry magazine award, Andy Folan won the Douglas Hyde Gold Medal for Print at the Oireachtas, Marie Louise Martin won a Print Award at the RHA, as I did in the last Bradford Biennale. We became much more ambitious in 1986 when John Kelly suggested we stage a First Irish Mini print exhibition. It was held at the Hendriks Gallery on St Stephen’s Green, with 326 prints on show. This exhibition was sponsored by We Frame It and short-listed for a Sunday Tribune Arts Award. Links continued with Graphic Studio Dublin over the following years. Still on a joint Arts Council budget,Marie Louise Martin and I were asked to view the site of what was to become the Graphic Studio Dublin’s new gallery off Cope Street. In 1987, to coincide with a celebration of Irish women artists in the National Gallery and the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, Graphic Studio Dublin gallery at Powerscourt mounted an exhibition of Irish women printmakers: Maria Simmonds Gooding, Alice Hanratty, Jenny Lane, Mary Farl Powers, AnneMadden and me.The Douglas Hyde Gallery organised educational tours to the Studio and Art History students visited from the National College of Art and Design. The second Irish Miniprint exhibition followed, administered by Mary Bryans and jointly sponsored by the Rohan Group and We Frame It. Held in the RHA Gallery in 1987 and including 541 entries from 22 countries, it was numerically bigger than Living Art, Oireachtas and Rosc exhibitions combined. The show toured Kilkenny, Limerick and Cork and brought in excellent sales and publicity for print and for the Studio. The first British Miniprint exhibition followed, organised by Peter Ford,the winner of the First Prize at our exhibition.After Michael Byrne’s death in 1988, John Kelly,Dan Treston (Michael’s life partner), and I set up an exhibition in the Davis Gallery and announced the Michael Byrne Scholarship for Printmakers, the first of which was awarded to Michael Corcoran. After Dan died,I handed over this scholarship to the Arts Council to administer.By September of 1990, our Committee was Barbara Dunne, Andy Folan, Jan de Fouw, Marie Louise Martin, Jackie Stanley and me. A total of 79 artists had used our Studio. We had organised a total of 22 Studio exhibitions and had a further 8 in the pipeline.We were starting to prepare the European Large Format Printmaking exhibition.We were also lining up a Studio exhibition in The Hague for the next year and another in the Riverrun Gallery Dublin. The ILAC Library had asked for a small exhibition and Jan de Fouw was organising a Studio calendar to benefit the Rape Crisis Centre. We were in negotiations with our landlord about moving the screen-print area into a second unit at a reduced rate. Then we had a break-in by kids (judging by the footprints) who got the petty cash box. The window was reset with fresh iron bars, but a week later they got in again. This time, not finding the petty cash, they set fire to the Studio. The ensuing fire was compounded by explosions of inks and solvents and much was lost by fire or water damage, including the Studio’s records.

Black Church Print Studio, Ardee Street (after the Studio fire in 1990).

Everyone rallied around, our members, friends and several members of Graphic Studio Dublin.We dismantled presses, shifting what could be salvaged,and gave Graphic Studio Dublin the ball-grainer we had got from the Ordnance Survey. Members claimed back what was left of their work and gear. Everything was put into storage. It was back to the kitchen table for Board meetings, with the charred filing cabinet in the living room. A formal meeting for all the Studio members followed at the Artists Association of Ireland office in Liberty Hall, chaired by Jan de Fouw. The members voted overwhelmingly for the Studio to continue,encouraged by our insurance loss adjuster’s hard work,which provided the seed money to carry on. Our show at Riverrun Gallery Dublin became a Phoenix Exhibition to publicise our crisis and we took a collection in a fireman’s helmet.Andy undertook to administer the European Large Format Printmaking exhibition in the Guinness Hopstore and negotiated printing facilities for Studio members in the National College of Art and Design for the summer.I set up viewings of yet more premises from an armchair after a car crash. After some false starts with other premises, such as Marrowbone Lane, Cornmarket and Broadstone, I was finally able to enter negotiations with Temple Bar Properties Ltd and we were accepted as clients by them on the evening of the Large Format Printmaking exhibition opening.We held a viewing in the RHA Gallery for Studio members, of McCullough Mulvin’s architectural proposal for the new studio beside their scheme for Temple Bar Gallery and Studios.We had come full circle.Once the Temple Bar Properties Ltd submission arrived at a financial package and planning permission for a purpose-built studio and gallery, I resigned, burnt out and thanks to an aunt’s legacy left for Samarkand, and later Timbuctoo. The aspiration of a national print centre never materialised, but the aims of regular and travelling exhibitions,active marketing, editioning, galleries, screen-printing and darkroom, were all achieved over time.Through our Studio shows, we made print and the Studio better known in both national and international contexts and more particularly, in generating the two Irish Miniprint and Large Format Printmaking exhibitions we surpassed our original aims. Also, we wholeheartedly played a part in advising the growing network of printstudios in Ireland.All that time and effort spent in house-hunting was validated by the eventual resolution, a new purpose-built printmaking studio right in the middle of Temple Bar: and the legacy continues.

Today the Studio provides professional facilities for artists working in a range of print media together with full technical and administrative support. The Studio currently has 85 full-time artist members working in screen-printing, intaglio methods, lithography, relief printing and digital printmaking.

The Studio also offers temporary and assisted access, education and outreach, international artist-in-residency and an exhibition programme. Since its opening the Studio has established itself as a significant and dynamic organisation and has proved to be a valuable facility and resource for hundreds of artists over the years and is now one of the leading contemporary fine art print studios in Ireland.

It promotes the study and understanding of traditional and new methods of printmaking and maintains a permanent centre where printmaking was taught, practiced and encouraged.

The Studio has orgainised many exhibitions in Ireland and promotes the awareness of international printmaking by participating in exchange exhibitions.

It is grant-aided by the Arts Council, Dublin City Council and the Department of Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht.

Newsletter

For updates on our upcoming events, courses, and more just add your email to subscribe.