KIM WILLOUGHBY, CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF DAMN FINE PRINT, TALKS TO MURMUR
The boutique screenprint and risograph print studio, Damn Fine Print, is based in an old textile mill on North Brunswick Street in Dublin’s north city enclave of Stoneybatter. The studio provides affordable, non-committal access to workspace, industrial grade equipment, workshops, classes and seminars that serve as a platform for a community of screen printers and designers to showcase their talents. One of the main purposes of the studio is to connect and collaborate with brilliant Irish illustrators and artists to create unique contemporary limited edition print works.
“We curate and host bi-annual print exhibitions that introduce a wider demographic to affordable, original artwork, bringing a contemporary art scene to a new market”, says Kim Willoughby, creative director of Damn Fine Print. “We offer a bespoke printing service, clients can commission our team to print their project, bringing the artwork to life”.
One of DFP’s recent projects was an impressive initiative at St Patrick’s Hospital, Dublin to promote positive mental health. The hospital first approached the studio with the idea of a collaboration with the objective to help promote the message and take the stigma out of mental health and illness.
Kim was enthused by the prospect of a residency at the hospital. “They were really excited about the idea of doing a series of prints. But we realised the best way to highlight the issue, and their good work, was to decamp to St. Patrick’s and produce the work on site”. As a result, the artists engaged with the entire hospital community, both service users and staff, publicising the work through their social media channels.
The works included wall murals and a series of prints that were created on-site throughout the DFP residency. The service users found it a really positive experience. Rather than creating the work externally and exhibiting it, Kim discovered that producing murals on-site had a more positive impact. “We set up a make-shift studio, with an open studio policy, so people could come watch or take part in the process. They had ownership of the project from the get-go. Some service users even helped in making the prints”.
“Damn Fine Print has created a very special space here at the Hospital where staff, visitors and service users can reflect and feel inspired to take positive mental help steps in their lives”, says Edel Fortune, programme manager at St Patrick’s Hospital. “We were delighted to have such talent on show in this space and to collaborate with artists who have been inspired by our message which is to mind your mental health.”
Damn Fine Print have worked regularly with big brands including Guinness, Jameson and Absolut, bringing its live screen printing services to their events. The studio provides first-class printing facilities for artist and designers such as Chris Judge, Steve Simpson, Will St Leger, Peter Donnelley and Niall Dunne. “We want to continue the practice of community printing”, says Kim, “working alongside up-and-coming artists and to work on our print shop’.
For further information on print services, classes or shopping visit: www.damnfineprint.com