Exhibition shines light on Tony’s art

Ruth Peterson | October 22, 2020

An atmospheric print created by an award-winning artist and Bradford School of Art technician is being displayed in a leading regional exhibition.

Printmaker Tony Carlton has created Winter Trees, which was shortlisted for the New Light Art Prize and is being showcased in its fifth biennial prize exhibition. The exhibition is currently on in Scarborough and is due to tour to Carlisle, Newcastle and London.

The print was among a small selection to be chosen for the exhibition.

Winter Trees print by Bradford SChol of Art technician Tony Carlton
Winter Trees

A last-minute decision

Tony said: “I was delighted to be shortlisted.

“It was a last-minute decision to enter. I saw the opportunity but the deadline was the next day. I wasn’t expecting to be selected at all!”

This year’s New Light showcase event is its largest prize exhibition to date. For the first time it is offering online sales of all short-listed pieces.

A love of art from childhood

For as long as he can remember, Tony has been an artist. During his childhood in Todmorden, he was always found with a pencil in his hand, doodling and drawing.

After studying at Calderdale College, he began attending the University of Wolverhampton where he achieved a BA Fine Arts degree and discovered his love for printmaking. He followed his new passion at Camberwell College of Art in London, going on to gain a Masters Degree in Printmaking. He said: “I think I realised from an early age I wanted to be an artist.”

Treasure of the Inkers

Tony is a member of Inkers, a group of contemporary printmakers based in Yorkshire. Four of his prints are being displayed as part of an Inkers exhibition in the Dye House Gallery in Bradford College’s Lister Building beginning this month.

Earlier this year the group began taking part in Inkerwoven, a partnership between Inkers and the Bradford School of Art inspired by the Bradford Textile Archive.

The ‘reveal’

He said: “There’s one thing a lot of printmakers love and that is the ‘reveal’. You run your plate through the press, peel back the paper and see what’s printed. You can spend months working on it and when it works, it’s brilliant. I love the whole process.”

Some prints can take months of painstaking work to produce. After returning to Yorkshire from a 20-year stay in London, Tony took thousands of photographs including the picture that inspired Winter Trees. “It lent itself to wood cut,” he said.

After carving the design into a large block of wood, Tony printed the block by hand instead of running it through a press due to its size.

Calm Before A Storm by Tony Carlton

Inspired by nature

Tony’s work is frequently inspired by nature, creating seascapes and stormy scenes in print.

As well as creating his own work, Tony supports students at Bradford School of Art with practical sessions. They can include performance arts, 3D, art and design, sculpture, exhibitions in the dye house gallery and anyone else who needs his help. He enjoys supporting the generation of artists emerging from Bradford School of Art. He said: “I’ve been at Bradford College for three and a half years. I enjoy working with students. I can see their potential and I can encourage them.”

Tony is concentrating on another project closer to home – renovating his house, where he hopes to create a printmaking studio.

About Bradford School of Art

Bradford School of Art encourages ingenuity, experimentation and enterprise, preparing learners for a career in the creative industries. The college aims to help students develop their own creativity and style.

You can find out more on the Bradford College website.

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