The Perfectly Imperfect Process of Screen Printing 

Screening printing, traditionally known as silkscreen printing, is a print method that requires a mesh screen to transfer either ink, dye, or paint onto a surface. Non-printing areas of the surface are blocked out by stencils, whilst pigment is forced through the open fabric with either a squeegee or a blade. The term silkscreen comes from the original use of silk, now replaced by mesh, it first appeared in China during the Song Dynasty (920-1279 AD). Credit for the popularisation of screen printing, particularly as an artistic technique, is given to artist Andy Warhol.


Chitra Merchant’s first introduction to screen printing, and printmaking as a whole, began during the time of her BA (Hons) Degree in Illustration. In 2001, Chitra based herself at Spike Print Studio in order to print, exhibit and create commissioned work on a regular basis. By approaching screen printing as a method of translation, she is able to create work that is strongly informed by her Indian upbringing. Her love of drawing is usually the starting point of each print, with drawings created either in situ or directly onto a screen. 


In comparison to digital printing, traditional screen printing can result in unique imagery despite its differing intent. Due to the hand-printed elements, variations of the same edition are often created. Chitra embraces this chance of variation by using it as an opportunity to experiment, encouraging herself to indulge in unconventional methods of application. 


The layering of images, used to craft cohesive forms, is another appealing aspect of screen printing which Chitra continually utilises. Layering allows a rich depth, with differing opacities of colour shifting the overall narrative of a piece. Transparent colours, visible at specific angles, are used by Chitra to give the viewer an insight into the history of the printing process. It is an embodiment, perhaps even an immortalisation, of the artist’s deeply felt response to colour.




Soden Collection are a contemporary and modern art gallery, located in the heart of Shrewsbury, on the bustling street of Wyle Cop. We feature an eclectic mix of paintings and sculpture, featuring well-established local artwork alongside renowned British and International artists. We offer a number of services, working with organisations such as One Tree Planted and Own Art.


One Tree Planted is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to global reforestation. They plant trees to restore nature and biodiversity. Soden Collection are happy to announce that we’ve partnered with One Tree Planted and for every piece of art sold, we pledge to plant a tree through this service.


Own Art is a national initiative that makes buying contemporary art affordable by providing interest-free loans for the purchase of original work. The scheme allows people to apply for an interest free loan of between £100 and £25,000 for the purchase of works of art in any media and the loan is repayable over 10 monthly interest free instalments.

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