Stephen Vaughan Printmaker & Artist

Stephen Vaughan in studio inspecting prints

Photography: Dylan Vaughan

As an Irish printmaker and artist, native to Thomastown (Co. Kilkenny) I am influenced by a rich culture of arts, crafts music and design; all of this underpinned by the stunning natural heritage of the landscape and of course, being Ireland, a wealth of history. Looking further afield the influences of the modern world are not far away, and so these also play an important role in my work.

My etching and carborundum prints examine the varied landscapes and environments both internal and external that mankind inhabits. Anecdote plays a significant role in my work. The whole gamut of human kinds adventures, trials and tribulations, successes and failures, are explored.

Elements within some compositions reference architectural forms, representing the structures that man has devised for a functional society and civilisation. Visualised is the way in which mankind has imposed itself on the natural world. Compositional elements that are organic or apparently chaotic portray an oppositional viewpoint; nature as adversary to human enterprise. It is in the tension between these two forces that I place my mark.

Making a print

Making a fine art print, from plate preparation to the printing of editions, can take several weeks. As a printmaker and artist, patience and dexterity are fundamentally central to what I do. There is a history of printmaking styles and rules that play a strong role in how the artist is influenced. It is important therefore that the artist/printmaker is fluent in the printmaking techniques, knowing what is appropriate for the image they wish to create; always ready to introduce something new so that they can make the medium their own.

Stephen Vaughan making print

There is a uniqueness to Irish printmaking. This stems from being at a remove from the main centres where printmaking is traditionally practised. This remoteness and dependence on ones own self-developed skills leads to improvisations during the making of etchings or carborundum prints.

The use of materials such as carborundum and adhesives introduce an additive process. Some would say that it is sculptural. This is also appropriate when considering the corrosive action of acid or the cutting actions of an engraving tool: the result is an item in three dimensions albeit one in low relief.

There is always an exciting point in the process of printmaking where there is a transformation; a transformation that is not discovered until the image is printed. At this point you forget all the process and appreciate the printed work as an entity in its own right;  something that is independent of its making.

Stephen Vaughan


Education Career

  • 1970 Born in Kilkenny, Ireland
  • 1989-1990 Craft & Design, Grennan Mill Craft School, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny
  • 1990-1993 Diploma in Fine Art (Printmaking with Distinction) Crawford College of Art & Design, Cork
  • 1994 B.A. in Fine Art ( Printmaking with First Class Honours 1.1) Crawford College of Art & Design, Cork
  • 2014 Higher Diploma in Science in Computing, Institute of Technology Carlow (First Class Honours)

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2014 Landscapes Inhabited: Lavistown House, Kilkenny,
  • 2004 Work by Stephen Vaughan : Original Print Gallery
  • 2001 Galleri Helle Knudsen, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Jonathan FerraraGallery, New Orleans
  • 1999 New works by Stephen Vaughan Michael Gold Gallery, New York. Exhibition of Prints, Chris Doswell Gallery, Limerick
  • 1998 Stephen Vaughan : New Work, Michael Gold Gallery, New York
  • 1997 Work by Stephen Vaughan, Kilkenny School Of Music, Kilkenny Arts Week

Selected Exhibitions

  • 2009 “Light out of Darkness”, Killian Schurmann and Stephen Vaughan, Dalkey Arts 26th March
  • 2007 “Hung Drawn& Quartered”, Group exhibition, by studio members, celebrating 25 year of the Black Church Print Studio
  • 2006 “25/25 Exhibition”, 25 years of Belfast Print Workshop
  • “Of Place, In Time” Lavit Gallery Cork. Exhibition of prints selected by Stephen Vaughan. Artists include James McCreary, Cora Cummins, Frieda Meaney and Tony McClure
  • 2005 “Common Ground”: Celebrating 25 years of Grennan Mill Crafts School, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny.
  • Clo in China: 411 Gallery, Hangzhou City, China, Contemporary Irish Printmaking.
  • 2004 Flowers Graphics London: Gallery artists
  • 2004 The Cracked Looking Glass:
  • Graphic Studio Dublin
  • The Old Print Shop, New York, 6th– 16th July
  • 2004The Kontarshusets Print Gallery, Stockholm
  • 2004  Flowers Graphics : 3 Contemporary Printmakers
  • 2004 174th RHA Annual Exhibition: Dublin
  • 2004 Model Arts Centre : Sligo.  Artists form Kilkenny
  • 2003 Butler Gallery: Kilkenny:  Artists form Kilkenny
  • 2002 Holy Show : Artists response to the Old Testament., Chester Beatty Library, Dublin
  • 2001 Print/Estampe : An exchange of french and Irish contemporary prints
  • 1999 Blackchurch Print Studio Members show, Original Print Gallery, Dublin
  • Tony O’Malley Selects, Lavitt Gallery, Cork
  • 1998 Temple Bar International Print Show, Original Print Gallery, Dublin
  • Wall to Wall, Blackchurch Studio Members show, Original Print Gallery, Dublin
  • Zeckendorff Towers, New York.
  • Works on Paper, Michael Gold Gallery, New York
  • Autumn Exhibition, The Bridge Gallery, Dublin
  • Prints From The Edge, Lambay Hse., Contemporary Art Gallery, Howth, Dublin
  • City, Seas & Other Places, Original Print Gallery, Dublin
  • Shake, Michael Gold Gallery, New York
  • 1997 Wall to Wall, Blackchurch Studio Members show, Original Print Gallery, Dublin
  • Gallery Artists, At Annabel Bowen Gallery, Kildare St., Dublin
  • Rolling Devolution, A touring exhibition of Scottish and Irish Art in Scotland
  • Michael Gold Gallery, New York. Group shows (Feb, June & September)
  • 1995 E.V.A. ‘95’, (Exhibition of Visual Art) Limerick
  • Stephen Vaughan & Lucy Turner : Emerging Artists, Original Print Gallery
  • Cork Printmakers ‘95’, Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Cork
  • Banquet Exhibition, RHA Gallagher Gallery, Dublin
  • Altered States, Touring exhibition. The Arts Council Education Programme
  • Impressions : Fifth National Open Print Exhibition, Galway Arts Centre
  • Designs on Peace, U.S Embassy, Dublin in honour of Presidential visit
  • 1994 Dispatches, Perugia, Italy
  • Christmas Show, Butler Gallery, Kilkenny
  • 1993 Cork City Artists, Crawford Municipal Art Gallery
  • 1990 Vice Versa, Sculptors Society of Ireland & The Jewellers & Metalworkers Guild

Awards

  • 1997 The Graphic Studio Award for Printmakers: In Memory of Mary Farl Powers
  • 1996 Visual Arts Bursary, The Arts Council of Ireland : To print in New York.
  • 1995 Commended 3rd Prize, Impressions : Fifth National Open Print Exhibition
  • 1994 N.M.R.C Purchase Award
  • 1993 Student of the Year, Crawford College of Art & Design. N.C.E.A
  • 1992 Thomas Dammann Junior Memorial Trust Grant : Research on Antoni Tapies

Residencies

  • 1996 Belfast print Workshop: Visiting artist for three week block
  • 1996 Lower East Side Printshop: New York. Visiting artist for October 1996

Catalogues

  • 2006 “25/25 Exhibition”, 25 years of Belfast Print Workshop.
  • 2004 The Cracked Looking Glass, Graphic Studio Gallery, Dublin
  • 2002 Holy Show, Graphic Studio Gallery, Dublin
  • 2001 Print/Estampe, Black Church Print Studio
  • 1999 The Butler Gallery Collection, The Butler Gallery
  • 1998 Temple Bar International print Show, Coracle Press
  • 1997 Rolling Devolution, The Scottish Touring Exhibition Consortium
  • Kilkenny Arts Week ‘97’
  • 1995 Cork Printmakers ‘95’
  • E.V.A. ‘95’
  • Academy Without Walls : 50 under 40, RHA Gallagher Gallery
  • Altered States, The Arts Council of Ireland
  • Designs on Peace, The United States Embassy, Dublin
  • 1994 Cork Printmakers ‘94’
  • 1993 Cork City Artists ‘93’, Crawford Municipal Art Gallery
  • 1990 Vice Versa, Sculptors Society of Ireland & The Jewellers & Metalworkers Guild

Commissions

  • 1995 Altered States : The Arts Council of Ireland
  • A print in edition of five which was included in a touring exhibition to secondary schools around Ireland
  • 1997 Kilkenny Fire Station: 4 Prints
  • 2001 Sony Entertainment Ireland : Presentation of prints. Edition of 48.