Portcullis House - Jubilee Series
Six artists' prints to mark the Jubilee
To mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee the House of Commons Works of Art Committee is supporting UK printmakers and has commissioned six artists to create a series of prints about Portcullis House. The Queen opened Portcullis House, designed by architect Sir Michael Hopkins, in 2001.
Portcullis House sits on the Thames embankment alongside the Houses of Parliament and it is a building that is not well known by most people, which makes this commission all the more interesting The building is a busy hub of Parliamentary activity, providing offices, select committee rooms, a schools education suite, meeting rooms and facilities to support the thousands of people - MPs, Parliamentary staff and public visitors - who use it every week.
Earlier in the year the six artist-printmakers undertook a short residency at Portcullis House to draw, sketch and photograph and from these observations that they will make their prints. The printmakers are Paul Catherall, Chloe Cheese, Michael Kirkman, Bronwen Sleigh, Tobias Till, and Frances Walker. They come from different parts of the UK, from Aberdeen to London, and between them span an age range from 25 to 82. They work in a range of styles and use a variety of printmaking techniques which include etching, lithography and lino cut. The prints will be hand made in limited editions and each will be embossed with the official Jubilee logo.
The prints will on display at Portcullis House during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and will be available to buy. The prints will also be exhibited at Portcullis House during the popular Open House weekend in September when the building is open to the public. Two sets of the prints will be added to the Parliamentary Art Collection which has a strong collection of prints.
In choosing printmaking the Works of Art Committee are following earlier commissions in modern British art including The Coronation Series by the Royal College of Art in 1953. Such commissions not only support artists but also enable a wider audience to see, enjoy and even buy the work.