Mark Attwood: “People said I was committing financial suicide by moving the studio away from the creative hub of Newtown, Johannesburg, to the Lowveld.”
Really? In 2016 Master Printer Mark and partner Tamar Mason celebrated the studio’s 25th birthday, and as half of that lifespan has been spent in the ‘Slowveld’ it appears that the slide from big city hustle to tranquil countryside has been anything but a disaster of any kind.
It wasn’t easy, of course. Things rarely are but reading Master Printer Mark’s story on their website, www.artprintsa.com, it’s clear that he, and his studio, have reached this precious balance of lifestyle, creative abundance, industry respect and financial success on the back of his intense hard work, determination and willingness to get there no matter what it takes. There is no room in this story for short cuts or handouts, it’s all about delivering what is promised, understanding the artist and uncompromising values.
“The Artists’ Press is dedicated to bringing you the finest limited edition original prints available in South Africa, focusing on handprinted lithographs. The artists that we represent are among the finest in South Africa and have exhibited locally and internationally.”
And they are indeed. The list of artists stretches broadly across a spectrum ranging from names uttered in hallowed whispers to lesser known, but no less talented artists. Think William Kentridge, Sam Nhlengethwa and Claudette Schreuders. Then hug yourself as you realise that these luminaries use our local lithographer, and spend some time browsing through the studio’s website to see the extraordinary quality of the work that’s printed right here.
Some artists followed Mark’s move to the Lowveld, and others came based on his work. It’s a no brainer, really, because where else in the country can an artist settle into a pristinely serene studio, sip tea under the shady trees, breathe in the restful, inspiring space surrounding them and enjoy the hospitality offered by one of the oldest studios in South Africa?
Staunch supporters of South African talent, The Artists’ Press tends to restrict themselves to South African work and are enthusiastic about the substantial growth enjoyed by the print sector in SA. The industry is well supported by both collectors and galleries. “Our role,” says Mark, “is to facilitate the natural approach of each artist.”