On our way to Aldeburgh we made a scheduled stop at Snape Maltings to see the Alan Kitching exhibition ‘A Life in Letterpress’. As a graphic designer and an avid typographer this was something I had been looking forward to for many weeks. I used to love trying my hand at letterpress and screen printing at university and Kitching was a big inspiration.
Alone, Snape Maltings is a lovely place to visit with its range of shops selling local crafts, gifts and well-sourced products. You could easily spend hours making your way around them. Not to mention lightening your wallet/purse at the same time – you can’t buy these things on the High Street! There are also several places to grab a bite to eat depending on how hungry you are. We opted for brunch and both had a bacon sandwich which was delicious! I washed mine down with a coffee and Anders had Darjeeling. Best of all though (for us) is the nature that surrounds Snape Maltings. It’s perfect for rambling with outdoor installations and a whole host of interesting buildings juxtapose the landscape. But it’s probably the impressive concert hall that Snape Matlings is probably best known for.
Back to the exhibition – there was a wide range of work on display that showcased an incredible mix of fonts (wonderfully paired I might add), colours of ink, textures and overlays. For me, Kitching’s work showcase a real skill in planning and layout as well as finding the perfect balance of still being able to experiment. After all, letterpress and screen printing can produce such brilliant imperfections that you can’t quite replicate digitally, it just doesn’t have the same charm.
It was so interesting not only to see complete, finished pieces but also Kitching’s experiments and tests and his work books. It was a great experience to see how people work and what their methods are.
There were some great pieces of work on display – we’ll let you see for yourself.
Sadly the exhibition closed on Saturday 20th August at Snape Maltings. However, you still have a chance to see this exhibition in Manchester at Design Manchester 16 (12 – 22 October 2016) and then in Glasgow at The Lighthouse (9 December 2016 – 26 February 2017).