Camera Ready 1983 October 25 2016

Matthew Rich, Master Printer at Jealous has just created Camera Ready 1983, a new nine colour screen print which painstakingly recreates a piece of rediscovered artwork from Matthew's time printing fly posters in Manchester for Factory Records and their Haçienda club. Matthew explains...

"I started screen printing in the early nineteen eighties at a Manchester print shop called Community Expression. I printed posters, stickers and t-shirts for local bands and clubs, political groups and the students' union. Our first premises was in a university building on Oxford Road and then I can remember 3 or 4 more places before we moved to a bigger shop called Lola Publicity on Claremont Road in Moss Side. 

I joined forces with the Manchester fly posting crew so as well as being poster printers for the Manchester music scene, we would pick up record company posters sent from London to the Piccadilly station Red Star depot. We would (not entirely legally) paste them all over town, sometimes travelling as far afield as Sheffield and Leeds. Continues below...

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We had a good relationship with local promoter Alan Wise, making posters for his acts the Fall, The Blue Orchids and Nico for the brief time she lived and worked in Manchester. But most of our work came from Factory Records, firstly making fly posters for the original Factory club (AKA the Russell or PSV Club) in Hulme and then, from 1982 onwards, gig posters for the brand new Fac 51, The Haçienda. 

Arriving at the club with a roll of freshly screen printed posters guaranteed free entry, strolling smugly past the queues and some cash in hand to spend at the bar. There were many memorable nights like Einsturzende Neubauten attacking the pillars holding up the roof with a jack hammer, Madonna's first ever show in the UK and William Burroughs on stage reading from his new book, 'The Place of Dead Roads'Continues below...

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Back in the printshop we set out the poster artwork with Letraset, Rubylith and Rotring pens. Shot negatives onto Lith film using a huge horizontal process camera - all brass hinges and ground glass screens - and hand printed onto MG poster paper with very smelly old solvent based inks. No health and safety back in the eighties! 

Many many years later I found this bit of poster artwork in a box in the attic. So many people of a certain age remember that era of the Manchester music scene with such fondness and a few suggested I do something with my bits and pieces of memorabilia. Continues below...

cameraready

I scanned the ancient artwork and dissected it layer by layer. The ageing off-white card of the artwork sheet. The palest blue lines (invisible to the camera) of the layout grid, some scribbled notes in pencil, a bit of Tippex covering a mistake and the matt black of the Letraset itself. We definitely ran out of letter Ys but that's fine, make a negative and print off as many new ones as you need.

There's a story here of my journey in screen printing from knocking out one colour posters on the cheapest stock to this nine colour, limited edition print in expensive Swiss water based inks on 100% cotton mould-made Somerset paper."

Find out more about Camera Ready 1983 over at Jealous Prints.