Spread the Ink is a fully screen-printed exhibition curated and printed by Alexandra Aquilina from ScreenGirl, Berlin. The pro­ject is a collaboration between Aquilina and a selection of 12 Maltese/Malta-based artists, illustrators and photographers whereby she recreates their art pieces as limited edition, hand-pulled art prints that will be presented in a week-long exhibition at Desko, Valletta, from September 16 to 23.

Screen-printing in fine art was popularised in the 1960s by pop artists like Corita Kent, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and Roy Lichtenstein. More recently, the technique saw a revival in popularity and a shift to the hands of young designers and artists with the boom of the gig poster scene in the 1980s, attribu­ted to Frank Kozik and Lindsey Kuhn, and is still a popular concept in modern times.

Today, screen-printing is the go-to technique for many artists using a variety of different styles, whether they are printing themselves or collaborating with a printer to create a limited edition piece. In Malta, silkscreen and art remain far apart, with only a couple of artists using this technique. With the assistance of Arts Council Malta, the hope is that this exhibition will play a part in bridging that gap.

Screen-printing is the go-to technique for many artists

A digital test mock-up of the screen-print of Stormy Clouds All Over My Head, by Illy M.A digital test mock-up of the screen-print of Stormy Clouds All Over My Head, by Illy M.

Aquilina’s aim behind this project was to share her skills and this fascinating technique with Maltese creatives while, at the same time, expanding her  skill set and engaging locals in experiencing and visualising a final screen-printed piece while also learning about the process.

The final prints, all measuring 50 x 70cm, vary from two to five colours and use a variety of screen-printing approaches, techniques and inks. They come in a limited edition of 10 pieces and are hand-printed, hand-numbered, hand-titled and finished off with an embossing stamp for authenticity.

Screen-printer Alexandra AquilinaScreen-printer Alexandra Aquilina

The artists involved include Alexandra Aquilina, Magda Azab, Nigel Baldacchino, Matthew Cardona, Valentina Fyorh Attard, Chris ‘Sea Puppy’ Jensen, Eric Leone, Illenia ‘Illy’ Madaro, Marietta Mifsud, Pierre Portelli, Zvezdan Reljic, Steven Scicluna and Moira Zahra. For more details, visit www.screengirlberlin.com or @screengirlberlin or @spread_theink on Instagram.

The project was funded by Arts Council Malta.

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