Embracing Creativity and Communal Spirit at SouthSeaEyes’ Printmaking Workshop at the celebrated Aspex Portsmouth

Aspex Portsmouth, a vibrant hub for contemporary artistic collaboration, embraced my unique approach to printmaking as part of their esteemed communal program. Inspired by Brighton CCA’s successful COMMUNAL program, Aspex fosters a sense of community by encouraging resource and network sharing, nurturing a sustainable creative ecosystem. The recent printmaking workshop at Aspex exemplified the power of communal engagement, where participants became integral contributors to a thriving creative community.

The wonderful attendees at my printmaking workshop at Aspex Portsmouth

The workshop provided a platform for attendees to express their creativity and connect with like-minded individuals while exploring the versatile world of printmaking. Aspex generously offered their space free of charge, demonstrating their commitment to fostering artistic growth and collaboration. This communal program allowed me to curate an engaging and open workshop, which left a lasting impact on the participants.

One of the highlights of the workshop was the opportunity to create personalized “printmakers’ journalling books.” These sketchbooks, once printed onto, transformed into meaningful records of the creative journey, each page serving as a printing “canvas” for self-expression and reflection.

A special feature uniquely provided for this communal event was a debut collection of hand-carved blocks titled “People, Together, At Home & At Sea.” Inspired by sea-swimmers and wild-swimmers, and heavily tinged with vintage-pin-up style design. These blocks added a touch of nostalgia, evoking a simpler era. Attendees delighted in incorporating these unique blocks into their printmaking exploration on both paper and fabrics. This diverse array of options empowered them to delve into the playful aspects of printmaking, experimenting with layering techniques and expressing their personal artistic visions.

Throughout the workshop, the intimate class size allowed for a personalised approach. I provided 1:1 individual guidance, ensuring each attendee gained a good understanding and demonstration of the carving, cutting, and gouging techniques. By the end of the workshop, participants were equipped with the skills and confidence to continue exploring printmaking and expressing their unique block-printing perspectives.

The success of this printmaking workshop exemplified the power of collaboration and communal engagement within the creative sphere. Aspex Portsmouth’s dedication to fostering a thriving creative community, combined with the enthusiasm and creative exploration of the attendees, made for a truly memorable event.

Here I express my heartfelt appreciation to all the collaborators, attendees, and individuals who supported and contributed to the printmaking workshop at Aspex Portsmouth. Whilst I aim to be self-sufficient in all my events, it does take a village – and so Special Thanks to the team at Aspex for providing the space and embracing the communal spirit that made this workshop possible. I am immensely grateful to Ricardo, Dianna and Kirstie for their invaluable contributions and support throughout the planning and execution of the event.

My sincere thanks to Vik, Hajera, Sarah and Johara, who joined in on this creative journey, bringing their passion and enthusiasm to the workshop. Your presence and active engagement made the experience truly exceptional. My gratitude to all who shared their excitement and helped spread the word about the workshop, contributing to its success … (Nala, this includes you and the hugs for showing you my Balinese fan movements).

In addition, I want to offer a deep and heartfelt appreciation to my supportive and possibly long-suffering husband, Greg. His assistance with logistics, transportation, hanging up banners taller than myself, and the unwavering (read: at times semi-grouchy but doing it anyway) support provided was invaluable. His dedication and willingness (honestly, there was no threats of under pain of death promises here at all) to go above and beyond ensured that everything ran smoothly and contributed to the overall success of the event. Thank you, Greg, for being an essential part of making this workshop a memorable experience for all involved.

In all, the printmaking workshop at Aspex Portsmouth showcased the transformative power of community, artistic expression, and the joy of creating together. Through shared resources, personalised guidance, and an array of creative options, participants experienced the magic of printmaking, leaving a lasting impression on their artistic journeys.

Your elated printmaking guide,


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