Marios Cafe is special. Ive been going there for a quick coffee, a restorative full English breakfast or a Parmigiana chips and salad for over 20 years. Wether as a morning regular, or an occasional visitor you always get a warm welcome from Mario. The small cafe with its eclectic mix of vintage chairs , and tables dressed with ubiquitous sauce bottles is often filled with the clatter of cutlery and easy conversation (often about music). It is a great place to be.
The walls of the cafe are hung with work by a different artist each month. Booked up for months in advance the works are hugely varied in style and scale. On the walls Ive seen everything from a full size cardboard cut-out of a 1970’s Volvo Amazon to exquisite drawings from a small sketchbook and large vibrant abstract canvases to beautiful framed black and white photographs.
Ive long harboured two ambitions about Marios . Working in Mario’s kitchen was one of them ! (which I finally got to do a couple of years ago). The other has been to have my work on the walls . Back in June I had been updating Mario about the printmaking studio project and he suggested a time slot for Lisa and I to have an exhibition in December. Of course I said yes, especially from the comforting distance of many months.
Were now in November. The last few months have been filled with assorts of different projects, setting up and equipping the print studio amongst them. Finally we have been able to focus on producing some work! We are using the big new press in ernest for the first time. Working on imperial paper size is a bit of a step up in scale which brings with it a few challenges from the increased time required to work on the larger plates to the handling and registering of the paper.
With at least 12 large prints the issue ( and cost) of how to protect the prints on the walls has finally been resolved in favour of clip frames. We’ve cleaned out the local discount store of the size were after ( 20″ by 26″ ) so the hunt for more is still on!. So far we’ve both produced 3 pieces of work and now working on our fourth , still at least two more each to produce!