‘Print City’ Celebrates the Art of Screenprinting on a Giant Scale at Dundee Design Festival

Image caption:  The Print Festival Scotland team at Dundee Design Festival preparing to screen-print 2000 surfaces and build a giant cardboard city over five days inside West Ward Works.

Print Festival Scotland is set to embark on its biggest participatory project to date at this year’s Dundee Design Festival opening next week (Thursday 25th May.)

The packed five-day Design Festival programme hosted by Dundee UNESCO City of Design includes exhibitions, workshops, film screenings and performances all exploring the theme of ‘Factory Floor’ and what making means now.

One of the festival’s most-anticipated events is PRINT CITY celebrating Dundee’s historical association with print and the vibrant contemporary culture of printmaking that exists in the city today.

 The mass design and print process co-ordinated by printmaker Scott Hudson and artist Paul Harrison will be fabricated on site inside West Ward Works, a former printworks in the heart of Dundee’s old mill district. The project has been conceived for the Design Festival by Print Festival Scotland, a partnership between Dundee Contemporary Arts and University of Dundee's Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design.

Visitors to Dundee Design Festival will be able to see familiar buildings being constructed throughout the five day festival as the giant cardboard shapes interlock to form an evolving and dazzling spectacle filling the vast 2000sq ft space with some pieces up to 5m high.

Printmaker at DCA, Scott Hudson said: “We’re hoping people will come in and watch the artists at work, and take part in the construction. On the first few days we’ll be screen-printing black and white repeat patterns onto the cardboard, then we can start slotting the 1000 and more shapes together.

It’s an immersive installation on a very large scale, and it’s going to be really exciting to watch it grow and take shape, with help from visitors to the festival. It will change every day as we work through the process of screen printing over 2000 surfaces and adding them to the structure to build a giant cardboard city.

As the city - made up of abstract buildings, streets, boats and trees - begins to take shape, audiences will be able to walk through the streets, sit in the park or see the boats in the harbour.”

The construction is based on a set of seven interlocking geometric, architectural shapes that have a playful association with children’s games and taken inspiration from ‘House of Cards by Charles Eames.’

“We have over twenty designs to screenprint with - gathered from weekend illustration sessions that we did with the public. We’ll use those drawings by kids and families, and mix them with historical images of Dundee, and cartoons from the Beano and Dandy.”

The idea is to build a giant children’s toy, a huge game that the public can look at, walk through and play with.” said artist Paul Harrison.

Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said: “Print City is a great project, bringing the people of Dundee together to pay homage to the city’s heritage of print-making in the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.”

 “Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events and the Dundee Design Festival will undoubtedly prove popular with visitors giving them the chance to enjoy talks, exhibitions and workshops all within in the fantastic factory setting of West Ward Works.”

Clive Gillman, Director of Creative Industries, Creative Scotland, said:  “The Dundee Design Festival is a unique event in the UK's only City of Design.  It is a festival of international quality and significance that is important to design professionals, but which is also publically engaging and linked to the communities of Dundee. Creative Scotland recognises the importance of the role the festival performs in showcasing Scottish design talent, and supporting the evolution of the work of designers and makers.”

The surface designs used in Print City have been compiled and collaged from drawings and illustrations created by participants of all ages in a series of public workshops at the Visual Research Centre, DCA earlier this year. Participants were asked to draw their own visions of the city – their personal experiences of the buildings and structures that form their environment, as well as their imagined possibilities of what the city might be in future. These works have been combined with a selection of historic images, illustrations and documentary photographs of Dundee.

Dundee Design Festival is hosted by UNESCO Dundee City of Design and supported by EventScotland, and the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund.

Print City at Dundee Design Festival 2017. Thur 25- Mon 29 May. West Ward Works, Guthrie Street, Dundee. Free to attend. 

Browse the full programme at http://2017.dundeedesignfestival.com/

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