Aberystwyth Printmakers’ latest project is a collaboration between science and art.

From the outset Aberystwyth Printmakers (A/P) has supported local printmakers in the mid Wales area.

It aims to provide a forum for discussions, exchange ideas and above all offer opportunity for those in the community to connect.

Whenever possible the group has encouraged members to explore the possibilities of making and exhibiting print.

Aberystwyth Printmakers have toured locally and across the world. Some of the most successful projects stem from collaborations with other printmaking groups in Wales and abroad. Links have been forged with printmakers in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China, India and the USA.

The group’s workshop has moved a number of times in those 20 years, mainly based in Aberystwyth, but now established at Brogreddan, a few miles out of the town, next to IBERS, on the former Gogerddan estate.

This led A/P to the most recent collaboration with the scientists who work at IBERS, which is part of Aberystwyth University.

Three key things have happened. The first of these was a visit by members of A/P to the laboratories at IBERS, arranged and introduced by Professor Huw Jones. During this tour the printmakers were able to meet with scientists who work on studying plant growth, who gave a brief but fascinating insight to detailed microscopic study and the impact of their work on agricultural development world wide.

One of the scientists that group members met on that day was Dr Kerrie Farrar, senior research fellow with the Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences who studies miscanthus grass. Judy Macklin and Stuart Evans, both directors of A/P, met up with Kerrie subsequently to discuss the possibility of making paper using this plant, with the aim of possibly printing on handmade paper.

This led to the second day of collaboration when a session was organised to make paper out of miscanthus grass.

Fortunately A/P have Viv Mullet as a member. Viv is an illustrator and experienced paper-maker and has produced handmade paper from various plants, mainly grown in her own garden at Talgarreg.

She hosted a day of paper-making for the A/P members together with some of the scientists from IBERS.

The third session was led by Jenny Fell, artist, art therapist and a founder member of A/P.

Printmakers and scientists came together again to make images related to the main themes of the research done by Kerrie and her team on miscanthus grass: those of alternative energy, biodiversity and sustainability.

This is not the first time A/P have collaborated with other disciplines. Other projects have included geographers and local historians was well as archaeologists.

Nor is it the first time individual members have tried making paper out of plants on which to print.

But this is the first time they have exhibited in IBERS and the exhibition is free and situated in the reception area at the institution. It is open five days a week: 10am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Exploring possibilities and expanding experiences, sharing knowledge with others in your community brings us closer together.

This not only benefits the local network of artists and scientists but expands the possibilities of what can be achieved and created locally.

A/P’s free exhibition in the reception at IBERS runs until September.