Saturday, March 23, 2013

Norman Ackroyd on iPlayer

This week the first episode of "What do artists do all day?" was devoted to artist and printmaker Norman Ackroyd RA.  I was particularly keen to see this as he is one of my favourite contemporary printmakers and I always enjoy seeing his enormously atmospheric etchings of the coastline of the UK

iPlayer programme available until 1:00am on 29th March
It was a sheer utter delight to watch a hugely competent printmaker create an etching and talk intelligently and in depth about the process of how he makes art - in this instance a view of the cliffs of Muckle Flugga in the Shetland Islands

We follow the process all the way from the boat off the Scottish coastline all the way through his habitual processes and the specific ones required for this etching - all the way through to the creation of an artist's proof of in his old warehouse studio in Bermondsey in South London.
From delicate work on the copper plate, through preparation of the aquatint resin that brings shade and texture to the image and the application of the acid which etches the final picture from the copper, the film captures each stage of the process behind his craft.
At the same time he talks about how the son of a butcher in Leeds came to go to the Royal College of Art in the early 1960s.

If this is going to be the standard for the series, then I think this is going to be a MUST WATCH programme.

You can see the episode on iPlayer until 1.00am on Friday 29th March

Overview of the career of Norman Ackroyd (as per his website)
  • 1938: Born Leeds
  • 1956-61: Leeds College of Art
  • 1961-64: Royal College of Art, London
  • 1988: Elected Royal Academician
  • 1994: Appointed Professor of Etching, University of the Arts
  • 2000: Elected Senior Fellow, Royal College of Art
  • 2007: Awarded a C.B.E. for Services to Engraving and printing
He has produced work for many significant commissions and has work in prestigious collections all over the world.  It also sells pretty fast at the RA Summer Exhibition


  1. Simply amazing. Thanks so much for reintroducing me to this artist, the art and the series.
    Anne Blankson-Hemans

  2. Sadly I am unable to access the BBC and am so tempted by Norman Ackroyd's video clip. At least I do have your introduction to him and can go searching for more information - Thank you for that (and much more of course).

  3. I was born in the same year as him, share the same values, I too work in mono ... but there, alas, we part company. I wouldn't mind brewing his tea all day through or sweeping his floor.

    Brilliant! Thanks for sharing

  4. As soon as I heard about this, I was so excited to watch it - I bookmarked the page, made tea, and sat down with a notepad, ready to be mesmerized. You can imagine my frustration and disappointment when I learned that it's only viewable in the UK. If anyone out there discovers an alternate way to see this program beyond England, please share. I'd dearly love to watch this!

  5. Pure gold!
    I'd seen it was on then forgot to watch it so thanks for the reminder.


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