Curator’s Picks from Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair

Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair
Nov 9, 2021 11:22AM

According to its etymology, the word ‘curate’ comes from the Latin cura, ‘to care’. Indeed, Lizzie Glendinning, Founder & Curator of Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair, attentively fosters her emerging artists, championing their work with the unique opportunity to exhibit next to some of the biggest names in contemporary print.

From the nearly 4000 applications this year, Lizzie uses her expert eye to carefully select the WCPF21 showcase of the hottest up-and-coming artists today. Here she shares her 2021 top picks - which are no doubt soon to be some of the most desired prints around - explaining what makes these artworks stand out from the rest.

“I have always loved the incredible draughtsmanship within Ade's work - it requires so much skill and patience. His work is packed with symbolism - historic, cross-culturally (he lives with his family in Aberdeen but originally from Nigeria), or made up, commenting on the modern world, or the future. I love the humour of this piece and nocturnal beings retreating.”

“I love the vividness, colour and movement within this piece. It is unusual in its composition and choice of background, very much coming forward off the black paper. I also love the technical qualities behind the process, illustrated by the knife and fork the opposite way round to tradition, demonstrating that the artist painted onto the plate with the knife on the right and the imprint has become a direct mirror.”

“This image stood out for me during the open call selection. For me it embodies numerous qualities I'm drawn to within contemporary practise. John is intrigued by paintings of the “annunciation”. It is a moment when two worlds touch, spiritual and mundane. It can also be regarded as a meeting of myth and matter, imagination and reality. I love the reinterpretation of historical painterly narratives which I'm attracted to quite often, and in this case, the reduction to a flat architectural composition.”

“The origins of Natasha Michaels' recent monoprints lie in historical paintings from the renaissance to the 19th century. Exploring, challenging, and reinterpreting traditional conventions and genres, Michaels’ work is an investigation of her own ambivalence towards the originals. At once subverting and celebrating, she uses her own expressive language to recast and direct the sitters, reimagining them as fictional characters.”

“I have championed LIorah's work since she first successfully applied to the Fair in 2018. I am completely drawn to her world, her depictions and her multi-disciplinary skills. I love her use of puppets and building a world of mise-en-scenes. I have an active and vivid imagination and it completely resonates with me. I adore her monotypes and am beyond excited to see this series of seven at the Fair. I've recently taken her on as part of my gallery portfolio of artists.”

“Sequester is another example of Eleanor's exceptional 'scaled-up' monotypes. This 12-piece installation perfectly captures the artists' unique process and exploration/reinterpretation of the domestic and the 'domestic sphere', portrayed by so many historic female artists. For 2020 we commissioned an 11x3m monotype by Eleanor which explored love and loss. Her work is full of layers, physically and metaphorically.”

“I love the x-ray quality to this theatrical piece which brings in classical mythology, costume, and references philosophical foundations of our society. It also reminds me of a wonderful exhibition I worked on during my curatorial MA where we 'excavated' narratives of fashion.”

“I have a background in fashion history and curation so these costumed figures stood out immediately with me. I can create so many narratives with this piece and the characters within it.”

To hear more from WCPF Curator Lizzie Glendinning, make sure to join her live online tour of the Fair’s 2021 offering. The event is free, but there are limited spaces available so make sure you get one before they run out. Sign up here.

Lizzie founded Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair in 2016 with her husband, Jack Bullen, on a mission to educate people about the wonders of printmaking, and support emerging artists. Now in its sixth year, WCPF is bigger than ever, and continues its celebration of print online in partnership with Artsy, in The Online Edition (11 - 28 November). For more information about WCPF, head to

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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019