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YA Microgrant: Tessa Lyons

In 2014 we launched our new Microgrant scheme offering up to £500 with the aim of supporting artists in the development of their practice and increasing public access and engagement with their work.

Tessa Lyons was awarded a Microgrant in 2015 to develop a new series of prints based on the Gritstone found in the Peak District. Tessa worked with skilled printmaker Neil Woodhall to explore geological forms and textures through the process of printing, particularly dry-point etching.

During Open Studios 2015, Tessa summarized her Microgrant project by holding creative mark-making workshops for adults and children to attend and displaying her finished Gritstone Shadow prints at Persistence Works.

I worked extensively with studio holder Neil Woodall, in creating a new body of work using a technique I hadn’t done before (printing with carborundum) and otherwise wouldn’t have had the facilities to do so. I regularly visited Neil at Yorkshire Artspace to borrow relevant equipment, discuss my progress with the printing and ideas for development.

To begin with it was very difficult to get to grips with the material, having not used it before. With a bit of experimentation and persistence I finally started to come up with some prints that evoked the atmosphere of the Gritstone crags in the Peak.

Having a bit of guidance and another person to bounce ideas off has proved to be a great help and has made me consider furthering my education at post graduate level, as I feel my practice could benefit from it at this particular time.

I had a good deal of interest [in the workshops] and spoke to people about the project. A lot of people left the table looking very relaxed and some seemed keen to partake in future workshops.

Applications for Microgrants will reopen in early 2016. Notification will be sent out via our website and E-News mailing list which you can sign up for by clicking on the newsletter tab at the top of the page.