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Gainsborough's House in Sudbury awarded £100,000 grant to transform workshop into art hub


By Priya Kingsley-Adam


Gainsborough’s House has unveiled ambitious plans to transform its neighbouring workshop in Sudbury into an art hub thanks to a further funding boost.

The museum, which is currently undergoing a major regeneration project to create a national centre for the 18th century painter Thomas Gainsborough, has been awarded a £100,000 grant by Arts Council England to refurbish its existing print workshop.

Director of Gainsborough’s House Mark Bills said the team was thrilled to have been awarded the grant.

Gainsborough House Director, Mark Bills (L) and Printmaker, Dennis Duffy (R) pictured at the Gainsborough House Print Workshop..Pic - Richard Marsham. (20909508)
Gainsborough House Director, Mark Bills (L) and Printmaker, Dennis Duffy (R) pictured at the Gainsborough House Print Workshop..Pic - Richard Marsham. (20909508)

“Printmaking is at the heart of our vision for Gainsborough’s House and this award will allow us to develop the work and capacity of this precious resource,” he said.

“It’s so important that, in the midst of a national centre for Gainsborough, artistic skills are taught, creativity encouraged and new works made.”

A modern heating system is being installed, with new flooring and equipment, while a glass viewing gallery will provide visitors with a rare glimpse of the artists at work.

Gainsborough House Director, Mark Bills (R) and Printmaker, Dennis Duffy (L) pictured at the Gainsborough House Print Workshop..Pic - Richard Marsham. (20910467)
Gainsborough House Director, Mark Bills (R) and Printmaker, Dennis Duffy (L) pictured at the Gainsborough House Print Workshop..Pic - Richard Marsham. (20910467)

“It will be like a shop window,” said Mr Bills. “We would like to encourage more people to be creative and take that step. There are a lot of people who are interested in printmaking.”

The workshop hosts a series of art courses and is currently used by 180 printmakers, while welcoming school pupils and university students.

“What’s interesting is that we are an art gallery and museum, and we have a range of artists working on site,” added Mr Bills.

Gainsborough House Director, Mark Bills pictured at the Gainsborough House Print Workshop..Pic - Richard Marsham. (20909509)
Gainsborough House Director, Mark Bills pictured at the Gainsborough House Print Workshop..Pic - Richard Marsham. (20909509)

The project is expected to be completed next year.

Gainsborough House Director, Mark Bills pictured at the Gainsborough House Print Workshop..Pic - Richard Marsham. (20910604)
Gainsborough House Director, Mark Bills pictured at the Gainsborough House Print Workshop..Pic - Richard Marsham. (20910604)


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