Work by Caitlin Burns in new exhibition following residency with Leeds Print Workshop

BA Fine Art graduate Caitlin Burns is exhibiting new work at Patrick Studios in Leeds, following a residency with Leeds Print Workshop.

Caitlin took up the six-week residency in August and September to focus on printmaking within her practice, as the recipient of this year’s Graduate Award in Printmaking.

The Graduate Award is an initiative funded by the University of Leeds and developed in partnership with Leeds Print Workshop. It was initiated to nurture and retain student talent in the city and is available every year to one graduating student from the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies.

Caitlin Burns was selected as this year’s winner, based on the body of work she produced during her time on the BA Fine Art course, some of which was on display at this year’s Degree Show, Can you let us in?

Cross stitch artwork by Caitlin Burns titled I don't want to speak of grief anymore

Caitlin Burns, i don t want to speak of grief anymore, 2023. Can you let us in? BA Fine Art Degree Show, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies. Photo by Jules Lister.

Work created by Caitlin over the course of the residency will be showcased in Staring at the Lilac Walls —a new exhibition at East Street Arts Project Space, Patrick Studios, opening at with a Private View on 29 September.

Caitlin’s practice surrounds the word comfort. She explores textile items such as quilts and soft toys which bring reassurance due to their tactility, textures and familiarity. Creating textile items has become the natural path for her to explore emotions and memories linked with bereavement, grief and mental health.

Text and words are also intrinsic to her practice, forming a key reflective element of many of her textile works, as well as the use of her own visual language comprising of ‘squiggly’ lines and shapes. These shapes have become vital to her practice, functioning as a visual reflection of the comforting act of drawing these lines.

Printed pages from zine accompanying  Caitlin Burns exhibition, Staring at the lilac walls.

Caitlin Burns, Staring at the lilac walls until they squirm, 2023. Printed page for exhibition zine. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Caitlin has focused her work during the residency on translating drawings she began making during time living in a psychiatric hospital into the repetitive and contemplative processes of printmaking to create textile hangings which have comfort in their form.

She has also developed a number of booklets and zines alongside the drawings and hangings.

Caitlin said:

“I'm honoured to have been awarded the Graduate Award in Printmaking and I'm excited to share the direction this has taken my practice in my first project since finishing my degree.”
Dr Julia McKinlay, Lecturer in Fine Art in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, said:

“Congratulations to Caitlin for being awarded the Graduate Prize in Printmaking. 

“Caitlin produced a fabulous body of work during her time on BA Fine Art that predominantly used drawing, text and textiles to explore her ideas around mental health.

“Caitlin was awarded the Graduate Award in Printmaking based on the strength of this work and her clear interest in further developing her practice through printmaking techniques like letterpress.

“I am certain that this opportunity would open up new avenues for Caitlin's practice and I am excited to see her new work produced with Leeds Print Workshop.”

Poster for Caitlin Burns exhibition Staring at the lilac walls, with lino printing and patchwork image in the background.

Poster for Caitlin Burns' exhibition, Staring at the Lilac Walls, September 2023.

More information

Staring at the Lilac Walls opens with a Private View on 29 September, from 6 to 8.30pm.

Exhibition open 28 September to 2 October by appointment.

See the East Street Arts website for further information, including venue details and how to check availability for viewings.

Find out more about Caitlin Burns.

Follow Caitlin on Instagram: @caitlinroseart_

Feature image

Caitlin Burns, detail from lino printing and patchwork, 2023. Courtesy of the artist.