Festival of Apathy: May 2016

Following a lengthy session in the Christmas Steps pub late one winter’s evening. Stanley Donwood came up with the brilliant solution to the problem of Bristol’s ever increasing number of uplifting festivals ‘The Festival of Apathy’ with the idea that if you couldn’t be bothered to turn up at a particular event it was to be seen as a success. With that kind of thinking what could go wrong.

The festival with little effort went surprisingly well and included brilliant apathetic performances from BEAK, Three Cane Whale, Chrononautz and poet Rick Holland, a heart-felt debate about the EU referendum with Gruff Rhys & John Harris. A debate about the housing crisis with Dawn Foster, Owen Hatherley and Emma Jackson. Finishing off with a hilarious evening with the fine Ladybird book authors Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris. We even had our own film premiere of Stanley Donwood and Mat Consume’s brilliant Broadmead the movie with accompanying book (available in the shop). As apathy goes it was possibly the finest festival ever. Not forgetting the exhibition and the morning of printing (at Harts Bakery) and the support of our friends at Taxi Studio.

The Letterpress Festival of Print 2015

Saturday 16 to Wednesday 27 May 2015, 11am to 6pm daily, free entry
Centrespace Gallery, Leonard Lane, Bristol BS1 1EA
The exhibition is based around music and print, and is a celebration of work from letterpress printers worldwide.

Festival open evening
Friday 22 May, 6.30 to 9.30pm
6 Leonard Lane, Bristol BS1 1EA
To celebrate the festival, join us for an evening in the gallery and printshop. A chance to see the exhibition as well as meeting printers and see the presses up close.

TPF private view gallery

TPF wood type set close up

There will be a range of workshops running at the Letterpress Collective during the festival.
Workshops are £75 per person (includes lunch). Places must be booked in advance,  hello@theletterpresscollective.org

Bookbinding – Nick Hallett
Saturday 16 May, 10am to 4:30pm, to book email hello@theletterpresscollective.org
Learn basic bookbinding techniques and take home books of your own using your new found skills.

TPF bookbinding

Letterpress printing  – Nick Hand
Saturday 16 May, 10am to 4:30pm, to book email hello@theletterpresscollective.org
Learn how to and hand set type and to print on our range of presses which include proofing presses, an Albion and treadle press as well as a set of small Adana hand presses. You will finish the day with your set of posters, postcards or whatever you choose to print during the day. Letterpress founder Nick Hand will be running the workshop.

Letterpress printing – Pat Randle
Friday 22 May, 10am to 4:30pm, to book email hello@theletterpresscollective.org
Pat Randle is an experienced teacher and printer from the Nomad Press. A day to learn the ancient art of hand setting type and to printing on the beautiful old presses.

Letterpress printing – Terry Wright
Saturday 23 May, 10am to 4:30pm, to book email hello@theletterpresscollective.org
Terry Wright is one of the most respected and experienced letterpress printers around. A day to learn the ancient art of hand setting type and to printing on the beautiful old presses.

TPF Terry Wright

During the festival, talks will take place in the Chocolate Factory in Centrespace. The evening starts at 7pm and the Exhibition will be open before the event. Tickets are £5 and available from Nick Hand at the Letterpress Collective printshop: email hello@letterpresscollective.org

Gen Harrison
Wednesday 20 May, 7pm, The Chocolate Factory (next to the printshop)
Gen is a compositor at Robert Smail and Sons Printers in Innerleithen in the Scottish borders. The print works operated for 120 years until 1986 when the printworks was taken over by the National Trust as a working jobbing printer.

Nick Loaring
Saturday 23 May, 7pm, The Chocolate Factory (next to the printshop)
Nick runs The Print Project which has been raising hell and the dead with its distinctive high quality letterpress printing in Shipley for the past five years.

THF pat and nick l in the gallery

Typographic walks of the Old City
Sunday 17 and 24 May, 10.30am, free, starts at The Letterpress Collective.
Ever looked up and wondered what that font was on a building or who put it there? The typographic walk of the Old City area answers those questions and will make you look at the city in a slightly different way.


Residencies and LCDD gig
LCDD gig, 8pm, Tuesday 26 May, The Chocolate Factory (next to the printshop)
Our friends, Madrid-based illustrator Olaf Ladousse and designer, Jorge Garcia will be weaving some magic in the print shop during Monday 25, Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27. On Tuesday Olaf will perform one of his famous LCDD gigs (not to be missed)

TLF Music in the lane

See you there.

Bristol’s first festival of print

Some great letterpress print was on display at the Centrespace gallery in the Old City in May.

The first week was a celebration of Matrix 32, the amazing annual of fine letterpress print, illustration and writing put together each year for the past 32 years by John Randle at the Whittington Press near Cheltenham.

A massive thank you to John and Pat Randle at Whittington Press for the outstanding body of work they presented at the Matrix 32 exhibition. We received many enthusiastic and encouraging comments from printers and fellow enthusiasts. Although there was one disgruntled visiter who was disappointed not to see posters of Neo from the Matrix trilogy.

We would also like that thank everyone who contributed the Politics of Print exhibition during the second week. We were overwhelmed by the amount of talented printers from around the world who contributed to the show using the power of ink, paper and word to promote positive change.

A special part of the week was a mini-residency in the printshop from anarchist printers La Fin Du Monde. They came to Bristol from their home near Paris to produce an amazing wall collage of experimental print work, combining both theirs and Dennis Gould’s prints to create a mashup of ‘stick it to the man’ art work which was both visual delight and testimony to the power of word and print. They left after decorating a bit of ‘the Lane’ with work from the week. Their output in the printshop has been much admired. It was a bit sad and quiet after our friends from both the UK and France had left, but we are left with much inspiration and ambition.

Thank you to our sponsors at Taxi Studio and Proctor and Stephenson. Their generous contributions enabled the festival to take place.

Lastly, thank you to everyone who came along and supported the event. We are already thinking about what we might do next year.


Festival of Print collage


The very first Bristol Festival of Print

During 17-28 May The Letterpress Collective will play host to the first letterpress festival at Centrespace Gallery, located just next door to our printshop.

The first week will consist of beautifully printed work from our friends at The Whittington Press. The exhibition will display work from their prestigious print annual, Matrix 32. Matrix has been an annual celebration of fine letterpress design and print from around the world for over thirty years.

The Second week is entitled The Politics of print and will contain a collection of letterpress posters from printers around the world, the exhibition will demonstrate the power of words in print for positive change, a theme that is consistently seen in letterpress, both past and present.

The printshop will be open for the duration of the festival and we are hoping that some other printers will join us to produce new work during the festival.

We welcome visitors to the printshop, so feel free to pop in and see the machines in action.

During the festival we will also be playing films, running open workshops, and hosting a printers party, traditionally known as a wayzgoose.

There is a private view on the 16th from 6.30pm. And another for the Politics of Print exhibition on Friday 23rd from 6.30pm.

Please email hello@theletterpresscollective.org if you would like to come along.

Our thanks to our friends at Taxi Studio and Proctor & Stevenson for supporting the festival and making it possible.
20140416_0865 100cm

Matrix.5 100cm