Innovative print artist Helen Locke comes to Riverhouse Barn

Innovative print artist Helen Locke comes to Riverhouse Barn

Joining Surrey Artists’ Open Studios ‘Thames trail’

As Artist in Residence during 2018 Helen Locke has documented the daily life of Ochre Print Studio, in Guildford – from disability workshops to the screen stretching process of Ochre’s partner AD Colour in Shepperton. After a successful show at the Lightbox in Woking, The Riverhouse Barn in Walton-on-Thames plays host to textile art pieces and large scale prints celebrating Ochre and the people who use it. You can also learn how to use heat transfer inks to create your own artists apron at a workshop on Saturday June 15th. Contact the Riverhouse Barn to book.

This exhibition is part of Surrey Artists’ Open Studios and you can visit other artists as part of the ‘Thames Trail’. There will be a silent auction of art, sculpture and jewellery donated by the Thames Trail artists in support of Anthony Nolan. Bidding kicks off at the Private View on Thursday June 6th from 6-8pm and ends on Sunday June 16th.

The exhibition runs from Wednesday 5th –Sunday June 16th

Private View Thursday June 6th 6-8pm.

The Robert Phillips Gallery, The Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre, Manor Road, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey. KT12 2PF

Wed, Fri and Sat: 10am – 4.00pm; Sunday: 11.00am – 4.00pm

Ochre Print Studio is the largest Open Access Print Studio in the South East. During 2018 Artist in Residence Helen Locke, who studied illustration at Liverpool and gained a Masters in Narrative Illustration at Brighton, spent a year documenting how the studio helps everyone from new graduates to practicing artists to extend their skills in print. The Robert Phillips Gallery at the Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre will be transformed by an exhibition of textile and print pieces which showcase all that Ochre has to offer.

Situated between Woking and Guildford as part of Lockwood Day Centre, Ochre provides community workshops for disability groups across the county. Artists can pay a monthly fee and use the printmaking facilities, store their work and make the most of specialist courses in everything from non-toxic etching to lino cutting and letterpress.

Ochre has four Open Access sessions a week for members, two of which are supported by the Artist in Residence scheme, where two artists submit a proposal for the chance to spend a year using the studio to develop their work in print.

Helen is a graduate of Liverpool John Moores University with a Masters in Illustration from Brighton, and after teaching and working as a technician is well suited to using these skills at Ochre. Her idea puts a spotlight on all that the studio has to offer: the tools of the printmaker; the sponsors AD Colour who repair the silk screens; artists who make up the teaching team; disability groups who use the print facilities; visiting and resident artists, by drawing them and collecting quotes ‘overheard on the studio’.

The unifying element of all activities at Ochre involve putting on an apron, and having worked primarily in the textile department of Alton College as a technician, Helen uses innovative methods to transfer expressive marks and documentary drawings onto different fabrics. Her first apron illustrates the Ochre Print Able group and combines colourful mark making using heat transfer paints, alongside screen printed drawings onto thick neoprene fabric.

The studio itself provides a wealth of imagery – the spray bottles used for cleaning make an exciting image when screen printed onto denim. Helen experiments with copper foiling (also using the heat press) making an apron which celebrates screen print with a nod to Andy Warhol.

Visiting Ochre sponsors AD Colour, Helen has spent a day recording the screen repair process, where silk screens are glued and stretched to the correct tension on a massive scale. Leaving the unit in Shepperton with armfuls of waste silk screen mesh, she has heat pressed, printed on and manipulated the fabric to create extravagantly pleated aprons fit for Grayson Perry. Helen used some neoprene to create utility bags featuring images from AD Colour – not all utilitarian items need to be dull…

The etching tools have made their way onto an apron, as have illustrations of participants of a collagraph workshop run by Katherine Jones. Finally Helen has created an enormous plate using ‘Environmount’ card to print a full scale paper apron to showcase the intaglio process.

The exhibition at the Riverhouse Barn re-creates the feel of Ochre studio, by providing a table and chairs at which you can browse Helen’s sketchbook form the year. There will be two workshops on Saturday June 15th where you can create your own apron – book at

The exhibition forms just one stop (Studio 23) on the ‘Thames Trail’ as part of Surrey Artists’ Open Studios alongside: Tamara Williams (Studio 22); Katy Selwyn-Smith (Studio 24); Malcolm West (Studio 25); Hilary Jones and Tricia Baldwin (Studio 30) and the Stable Artists at Studio 32. All artists have given a piece of their fantastic work to a Silent Auction to raise funds for the Anthony Nolan. The charity saves the lives of people with blood cancer and blood disorders.