Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Tom Paine Festival in Lewes including working press and original prints.

Today I visited Lewes in East Sussex to see two events that are part the "Tom Paine Festival - Revolution and Reason" being held in the town from the 4th - 14th July.

Thomas Pain, the radical propagandist and revolutionary, and plain-spoken voice of the common man and woman lived for some time in Lewes and the Tom Paine Festival celebrates the anniversary of his death in 1809. There is full information on his life and work on the website http://www.thomaspaineandlewes.com/

As part of the Tom Paine Festival, Paddock Printmakers, a group of artists based in Lewes, have produced a really super limited edition book with prints of images of Lewes buildings and sites associated with the life of Tom Paine in Lewes. The book is in a limited edition of 130 and is a beautiful, hand bound book with each image originating from a handmade print by a member of Paddock Printmakers. The prints too are available and are being exhibited until late August at Pelham House, St Andrew’s Lane, Lewes, just off the High Street. The prints show a superb range of styles with different printmaking techniques; woodcuts, linocuts, drypoint and collagraphs.

If you then want to see printing in action walk up the main High Street in Lewes and head for the Market Tower and there, in a beautiful space off the courtyard, is a fully working printing press. The full size oak press was made this year and is based around a working 18th-century-style wooden ‘common press’, as used to print Paine’s massively influential pamphlets and books.

The Press was formally opened on July 4th, and free demonstrations take place at the Market Tower throughout the Festival, 10am-1.30 and 2.30-6pm, until July 14th. For full details about the press please see http://www.tompaineprintingpress.com/
There are lots of events on over the Tom Paine Festival in Lewes and both the exhibition by Paddock Printmakers and the display and demonstration of the printing press continue throughout the Festival.

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