The Social role of Print, then and now

Frimodig is a creative practitioner in graphic arts with hybrid specialisms in research around the social role of the fine art print, and widening participation in higher education alongside curriculum and course development.

Research around The Fine Art Print as a Strategy for Social Engagement

Prints as images are potentially cheap and quick and easy to produce and may act as a democratic interactive dialogical form, a visceral and connective praxis within a collective environment. In What is Art for? (1988) and Where Art Comes From (1992) Dissenayake considers the origin and nature of art to be a participatory activity which generates meaning and understanding when the making is communal. Working together, putting ink on paper also suspends an increasing sense of alienation, where we live surrounded by photographic images advertising our edited existences in snippets flickering on screens. Yet, feeling this need to negotiate society, service might be honourable, but can be a confusing burden or a ‘painful pleasure’ (Bishop, 2012:39). In this context Frimodig formulates her research question.

The research explores the operative and ethical framework around the role of the artist and printmaker using the artist’s prints as a strategy for social engagement, drawing on the dynamic between a personal vision and the collective.


It also contributes to the current debate on the efficacy of art beyond its commodity value. The research seeks prints’ social value and a way for the individual practitioner to ethically position them self in relation to their own creativity and to a wider, collaborative audience.

Drawing on worldwide historical and current case studies,from the Indian Indpendence movement, the Swedish Konstfrämjandet and Art for the People movement , to the Situationists’ legacy and current print-activists help to evaluate of a range of pictorial strategies.

Concepts such as paradigmatic particularity, politi-kitsch, alienation, empathetic connection, relational aesthetics and ethno-mimesis inform the practice-based research. This consists of: identifying objectives, instigating preparatory activities, organising public engagement, writing and crossdisciplinary dissemination, and embedding the knowledge gained in a personal practice.