Lauren Kelly

Lino Cut Printmaker

My lino prints are born out of a fascination with finding objects, pattern, colour and repetition in everyday life. I have been making lino prints for the past 15 years. I love the unpredictability of printmaking, the surprise you get as you peel the paper off and see what the hours of drawing and carving have led to.
Printmaking has always interested me, from making lino prints at school, exploring letterpress and screenprinting at university and then returning to print again as I studied a Masters in Education.
Currently, I work teaching Art and Photography at the local secondary school. Most of my prints are made during the school holidays. As soon as I started teaching Art I knew that it was important to keep up my own artistic practice alongside teaching so that I never lost my skills or my love for the subject I was teaching.

So it was in my first few years of teaching that I fell into making lino prints. I was encouraged by other local artists and groups of makers like ‘Made in Colchester’- I find being part of a group of like minded people so important to my practice- to share ideas and advice and work collaboratively. That is why it means a lot to be part of Essex Craft Society.
Currently, there are two distinct sides to my work; packaging and plants.
My packaging prints are to do with nostalgia, familiarity and simply discovering beautiful pieces of design. I think this side of my work is influenced by my degree in Graphic Design and a brief spell designing for retail. I love typography and the design we associate with familiar brands.

My prints based on flowers and plants are to do with pattern and repetition found in nature. I study plants from observation with a botanist’s eye, finding the details that make each plant individual. This area of my work is inspired by being brought up in a family of gardeners. A love of plants was instilled in me from a young age.
The process of creating all prints starts by finding real life objects and plants to work from. The search is very much an integral part of my practice and allows an element of chance to play a part in my ideas. Where possible, I work from real life when drawing before transferring the designs onto lino and printing in my small front room studio, at home in Wivenhoe.
I make just ten limited editions of each print. Every edition is slightly different due to the nature of printmaking. So each piece is truly unique.