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Print and the Archive

Location Online
Date & Time 20th January 2021 - 15th December 2021
7.00pm - 8.30pm
Tutor  Jessica Cormack 

The course would be set up to work on a project using things including but not limited to photographs, objects, letters, maps and emails to create our own archive, whether this be factual or fictional. What exists as a participant’s archive can be left to their own interpretation.

The course would look at how we can reproduce these ‘artifacts’ using available equipment,materials and techniques from our homes and discuss how this can change our or the viewers relationship with the thing itself through the act of reproduction.

The course would take into consideration the limitations of participants accessibility to various modes of printing.

Therefore, the course would allow for participants to use any printing method they had the resources for, including digital reproduction. We would explore our continual understanding of an archive through the sharing sessions each month.

The inclusion of monthly readings would allow participants to engage critically with their own work and the work of others. These would also be discussed in the monthly sessions. This would include work such as Walter Benjamin’s Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction and Roland Barthes The Death of the Author.

Course participants will receive: 

  • Twelve 1.5 hour contact sessions live online.
  • An exclusive Cyanotype kit of materials
  • An exclusive Monoprint kit of materials
  • Handouts and access to exclusive content and resources
  • Full guidance in reading and research materials posted online.
  • A secure online facility to share discussions, outcomes, progress and support.
  • Critical feedback and best practice between sessions.

Course Requirements

Access to join 'Zoom' to participate in the live sessions.

A few very basic materials.

Access to smart phone, tablet, computer or laptop to engage with the assignments and online content.

Don't worry! If you miss a month, it will be recorded and posted up to watch at your convenience. There will also be monthly handouts, resources and help to support your progress.

Course Structure

Month 1

  • Introductions, individual specialisms and interests.
  • Rough outline of the course and its aims. Definition of ‘print’.
  • Ways to communicate.
  • Homework: what does archive mean to you?

Month 2

  • Discussion about the archive/print in the archive (look at some of the online archive at the University of Nottingham, exhibitions they have had, how the reproduction of the archive can change how the archive is perceived).
  • Reading-The Death of the Author by Roland Barthes in Image Music Text
  • Homework: Print/reproduce or create 3 prints for your archive. These can be from original materials, objects. This should be your starting point, perhaps the foundation of the project?

Month 3

  • Story telling in the archive. Narrative techniques.
  • Reading: Understanding Comics by Scott Mc Cloud, chapter on transitions.
  • Homework: Create a narrative piece (this can be a single print narrative or a series of prints thinking about the different transition Mc Cloud discusses).

Month 4

  • Discussion about the reading so far and has this had any impact on how you think about your work?
  • Looking at specific printing techniques - monoprinting
  • Reading: Approaches to What?* by Georges Perec
  • Homework: print something from the everyday, small thing you would not normally notice.

Month 5

  • Looking at the everyday in relation to the archive. How can we reproduce these things/moments in print?
  • Reading: Ways of Seeing by John Burger
  • Homework: print only using text.

Month 6

  • Printing text
  • Look at Jonathan Safran Foer’s Tree of Codes
  • Reading: Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Walter Benjamin
  • Homework: print using digital techniques-printer, phone, copier etc.

Month 7

  • Digital reproduction using available equipment-printers, phones, copiers, digital cameras, photographs.
  • Reading: Susan Sontag-On Photography (chapter to be decided)
  • Homework: print on material/materials that you would not normally use or associate with printing.

Month 8

  • Experimenting with materials
  • Cyanotype printing as documentation (Anna Atkins, blueprints etc)
  • Homework: to reproduce something from your archive beyond recognition

Month 9

  • Abstraction
  • The repetition of printing. Can something be reproduced beyond its original form and still hold meaning?
  • Homework: reproduce a photograph/photographs using any printing technique.

Month 10

  • Printing/reproducing photographs.
  • Problems with using photography in the archive.
  • Start putting your work together, write your reflections, questions anything you want to discuss for the next session.

Month 11

  • Rounding up of work. Any questions, feedback.

Month 12

  • Virtual Exhibition with short introduction by each participant

About the Tutor

Jessica Cormack 


Instagram: @jessicacormackprints

Leicester Print Workshop 

Leicester Print Workshop is the regional development centre for printmaking. Established by artists in 1986, we are a registered charity, supported by Arts Council England. Our RIBA award-winning building is situated in Leicester City Centre's Cultural Quarter and is home to a large, well equipped open access Printmaking Studio.

We have over 30 years’ experience of teaching people printmaking. Our programme offers the largest number and broadest range of printmaking courses in the region, with courses suitable for beginners as well as experienced printmakers, delivered by practicing artists and nationally renowned tutors. Participants learn in small and friendly groups in our purpose-designed studio.


Online: You can book online here by credit / debit card or Paypal.

Telephone: You can pay by card over the phone during our opening hours (Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm). Call us on 0116 251 4174.

In person: Call in to Leicester Print Workshop during our opening hours (Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm) to book and pay by card, cash or cheque.

Pre-course information: We will send you details of how to access the Zoom sessions and what materials you will need when we process your booking.