© Elke Thonnes
Elke Thonnes, German, b.1960
Title: Circular Conversation
Date: 2017
Medium: Etching
Sheet: 45.9 x 37.8 cm
Plate: 29.5 x 24.5 cm
Signed: lower rght (in graphite): Elke Thonnes
Credit Line: Purchased, 2018
Object Number: NGI.2018.121.5
DescriptionGraphic Studio Dublin, Fine Art Printmakers, was founded in 1960 to teach traditional printmaking skills then unavailable in Irish art colleges, and to provide studios and technical assistance to artists to make fine art prints. Its founders were Patrick Hickey, Leslie MacWeeney, Liam Miller, Elizabeth Rivers and Anne Yeats. A gallery, known as Graphic Studio Gallery was established in 1988, to promote fine-art printmaking in Ireland and abroad, to educate the public about printmaking, and to exhibit and sell prints on behalf of member artists. It is located off Cope Street in Temple Bar while the Studio is based in an old warehouse building on the North Circular Road.

Graphic Studio Dublin published sponsors’ portfolios from the 1960s to the 1980s. These portfolios consisted of six prints presented in a portfolio and in later publications a poem was also added. These works were produced to raise funds for the running of the studio and were a great success. In 2010 Graphic Studio relaunched the Sponsors' Portfolios as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations. Over ten years, they will publish 10 portfolios (one per year). Each year an edition of 75 bespoke folders is made, each of which contains four prints by Graphic Studio printmakers and invited artists and one piece of writing. Writers have included Jennifer Johnston, John Banville and Colm Toibín.

The commissioned artists and writer in 2017 are: Cliona Doyle, Gwen O'Dowd, Aoife Scott, Elke Thönnes and the writer Colm Toibín.

This etching is by Elke Thonnes. A native of Cologne, Germany, Thönnes was born in 1960, and studied at the Hochschule fur bildende Kunste, Kassel before moving to Ireland permanently, graduating from the National College of Art and Design in 1991. Her practice includes painting, but she is primarily a printmaker, based at Graphic Studio Dublin. She has exhibited widely in Germany and Ireland. Her work is in the collections of Ireland’s Office of Public Works, Queens University Belfast, Trinity College Dublin, National Library of Ireland, The British Library, Dublin City University, and she was recently commissioned to make to make a series of photo-etchings for the Davenport Hotel, Dublin.
Inscriptionlower centre (under plate, in graphite): Circular Conversation
lower left (under plate): 3/75

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