Fine art screenprinting continues to flourish in South Africa! This is evident in the selection of young and emerging artists, producing exciting work in this medium, who will be showcased in WAM’s forthcoming exhibition One Colour at a Time: Contemporary Screenprints.

In an initiative to showcase recent contemporary work being made in South Africa, WAM invited three printing studios located in Johannesburg: Artist Proof Studio (APS), Prints on Paper (POP) and Division of Visual Arts, Wits School of Arts (DIVA) to collaboratively curate the exhibition.

Screenprints are made using a mesh to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to ink by a blocking stencil. One colour is printed at a time, so several screens can be used to produce a multi-coloured image or design. The exact details of the process vary from method to method and can range from a simple technique to an extremely complex procedure.

Using their own criteria, each studio selected a variety of contemporary South African artists to work with for the project. POP specialises in the screenprinting medium so directors, Isaac Zavale and Mini Ngoyi selected from work that has been produced with them at the studio in recent years. Alexandré Vosloo at APS selected artists who haven’t necessarily worked in the medium before but whose work he thought would translate into screenprinting in interesting ways. The artists selected by Thabiso Kholobeng at DIVA are all current Fine Art students at Wits University in their 3rd, 4th, and postgraduate years. Says interdisciplinary artist Jessica Doucha “This collaboration allows established institutions and independent emerging contemporary South African artists, to explore, experiment and push boundaries between, mediums, concepts and discourse within a South African and international context.”

For some, like artist Io Makandal, who has explored the screenprint process for the first time, “there is a delightful surrender in the translation of the drawn marks into the transference of screen printing.” The result is a dynamic group show that represents a cross-section of work being produced by an incredibly diverse range of artists.