Hello and welcome to the first issue of the IMPACT Printmaking Journal!
When Carinna Parraman, chair of IMPACT, first conceived of this journal, the word Covid had not yet been invented. Now I am writing to you from a sunny London living room, on behalf of the Centre for Fine Print Research which is based in the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK. Despite our practical distance, printmakers and academics can bring images, points of views, techniques and ideas together in this virtual platform. Indeed, the experience of isolation gives us the gift of time for reading, reflection, and detailed work. We should think of ourselves as temporarily marooned.
Print is a compelling way of thinking and making. Beyond the factors that are often celebrated in print – the indexical transference of ink onto paper, multiplication and repetition, social commentary, ease of availability – print has often been defined by its partnership with technology. In terms of technology, we at the Centre for Fine Print Research are greatly interested in the harnessing of technology to aid and adapt what can be done.
Indeed, the very first scientific journal in the UK, Philosophical Transactions, used print technology in London over 350 years ago in 1665. This journal pioneered open conversation, allowing a wide audience to read and debate new ideas. Inspired by this, IMPACT Printmaking Journal is also an open access journal, which means it is online and free to read. Also, like the earliest scientific journals, we have also adopted a peer review system to ensure a certain quality of work.
For those who are not familiar with the peer review system: this is where each article has been scrutinized by two academics or artists at the forefront of their field. Their comments and suggestions were at times extensive, provocative and enlightening, and brought a sense of context and guidance to the authors. I must thank all the peer reviewers who gave so generously to this first issue, and to all the authors who were very patient with multiple requests to rethink and modify their work. Through the process, new ideas and connections are made, so I hope that the authors gained as much out of the process as the readers of each issue will.
This journal aims to be a platform for discussion between artists, printmakers, writers, collectors and academics. In this first issue we have a range of topics: including commentary on histories; landscape; politics, present and past; our place in the wider world; family heritage; and narratives of identity. The journal has the potential to evolve and classify the practice of printmaking. Most of all, there is a centering on the intimate knowledge of what it means to make.
A peer-reviewed journal is by nature a slow publication, but I hope that through reading, writing and exchange, the journal can generate a sense of community and conversation, despite our geographical distances. I welcome comments and feedback, and encourage you to continue to send writing in for consideration for the next issue. Most of all, I look forward to meeting some of you in the future, whether it be in the virtual realm, or in person, perhaps at one of the wonderful print conferences such as the IMPACT Print conference in Hong Kong (proposed for the Autumn), and the postponed SGCI in Puerto Rico.
With warm wishes for your continued health,
3 April 2020
Click here to go to the menu of the first issue
 https://royalsociety.org/journals/publishing-activities/publishing350/ accessed 15 March 2020