Hot Bed Press organises a number of exhibitions a year; usually 2 in-house open studios events, plus 2 major external events. We also access next the gallery space within Cow Lane Studios four times a year and set aside time for Hot Bed Press members to have exhibitions. In addition to this we take part in invitational events such as the Manchester Contemporary and help organise and facilitate events such as neo:Artists Print Prize in Bolton and the Salford Open.
Two major events happen every year which have grown over the past few years. The 20:20 Print Exchange has grown from an exchange between ourselves and Red Hot Press in Southampton in 2009 involving 20 artists, and has grown to involve 392 artists from 30 print workshops in 2012.
This exchange differs form other print exchanges in that it involves only printmakers who are members of print workshops. It encourages and promotes printmaking and the notion of an edition within workshops and has become a collaborative tool linking workshops and has even spawned other similar exchanges.
Each artist produces 25 prints and pays £10 and in return will receive a hand-printed portfolio box containing 20 randomly selected prints, (including one of their own prints). Each workshop receives a random portfolio of 20 prints and a ‘twinned portfolio’ of 10 prints from their own workshop and 10 prints from another randomly selected print workshop. Some workshops use this as an additional and much needed fundraiser, selling the prints individually, or as a whole by auction.
This year’s grand sort was lots of fun, and the range of work in was excellent. Each workshop has now received their portfolios and will be having thier own show. We launch the exchange with a show of one of every edition at The Cow Lane Gallery next door and the prints will then go on to tour the UK from Volton to Liverpool, Wakefield, Hereford and Edinburgh.
We also run The Manchester Artists’ Book Fair every year. The fair is held at MMU’s Holden Gallery and involved around 45 stands of artists’ books, zines, small publishers and altered books. Artists come from across the UK and Europe to show their work and to meet other book artists. Al work is for sale and you would not believe how reasonably priced these exquisite pieces start at. We aimed for between 250 and 350 people to attend the fair but we actually got over 800 visitors!
We were pleased to have extended the fair to another day in 2012 and added a seminar/talk at the Special Collections Library across from The Holden Gallery on the theme ‘Collaboration and The Democracy of Book Arts’. Chaired by Sarah Bodman of University of West of England’s Book Arts Research Centre the talks were scintillating and really shed light on the collaborative nature of book arts from the Letterpress Etiquette network to The Library of Lost Books.