Q&A with East Side Print
East Side Print is a not-for-profit arts organisation and print studio in Kemptown, Brighton. Their aim is to promote the practice of visual arts, particularly screen printing, printed textiles and photography, to people and communities in East Sussex and beyond.
We speak to Louise Bristow about their participation in the PRESS+PLAY Festival of Print.
LB: East Side Print is a community interest company set up in November last year by Cath Bristow, Moose Azim and Louise Bristow. We run a programme of courses suitable for all abilities from our studio in Kemptown. We specialise in screen printing on paper and fabric printing, as well as running photography-based workshops such as cyanotype and creative camera skills. For people wishing to work independently we have a membership scheme offering open access sessions. We are also keen to work on community projects and received our first grant funding to run free workshops at Whitehawk Inn in June.East Side Print was set-up in 2020, in the midst of the pandemic. What positive experiences or achievements have you enjoyed in the last year?
LB: Starting a business at such a time might seem foolhardy, but it actually felt like taking control of our destinies when pretty much all our regular work had disappeared overnight. There have been plenty of small positives that won’t mean much to anyone else, like getting adjustable bolts to fix one of the vacuum beds, or getting colour-coded brushes for the wash-out unit. But the biggest positive has been seeing people join as members and use the studio to make their work. We always knew the studio had great potential and it’s gratifying to see this happening.
The studio is exhibiting in the Festival of Print exhibition. What do you have planned?
LB: We’re presenting work by five artists; Cath and Louise (ESP directors) and three of our members, Dave Arthur, Katja Lelic and Montez; Cath and Katja love the immediacy and purity of using cut paper stencils, and Dave, Louise and Montez enjoy using photographic imagery as the basis for their work. You can see more of our members’ work at the Table Top Fair, where we will have a stall selling prints, cards, and other hand-printed items such as T-shirts, tea-towels and notebooks. We’re also looking forward to the “East Side Print: Meet and Make” event at Phoenix in December!
Find out more about ESP
Follow them on Instagram @eastsideprint_brighton
Image credit @ Louise Bristow & Cath Bristow