AN explosion of colour, creativity and texture came to South Cumbria this bank holiday weekend, when the who's who of the printmaking world came from far and wide to showcase their stuff at a record-breaking festival.

Held over two days in Ulverston's Coronation Hall, Printfest has never failed to disappoint art lovers.

Since its inception more than a decade ago, Printfest has continued to grow in size and status, enticing some of the leading artists in their field to come and exhibit, while rubbing shoulders with the industry's finest.

This year was extra special for the team as the grand finale of the weekend will see organisers travel to Cartmel for the Cumbria Tourism Awards, 2018.

The festival has been nominated for the Tourism Event of the Year award alongside C- Art, Winter Droving and the Westmorland County show.

Sally Bamber, chair of Printfest was delighted with the turn out over the bank holiday weekend and praised the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in making the weekend run smoothly.

She said: "It's been going since 2001 and we've been building our reputation since then. We are working hard to do that.

"Reputations can be built quickly but they can also disappear quickly but we have improved year on year.

"We want to say thank you to all of our past organisers and everyone involved."

As well as attracting big big names like Printmaker of the Year, Gail Brodholt, and winner of the 2017 Printmakers’ Printmaker award, Georgina Bown, Mrs Bamber said the festival had also attracted a number of returning artists - some of whom have had a 10 year absence from the industry.

The Duddon Valley based artist said by Saturday lunchtime, around 300 visitors had already taken a break from the glorious sunshine beating down on Ulverston, to come and sneak a peek at the 44 exhibitors in the main hall.

Crowds packed out the venue and this year could see the festival beat last year's record-breaking weekend which attracted more than 1,700 visitors and more than £57,000 worth of sales.

Ulverston-based painter Tina Balmer, was not exhibiting her work, but was there to support the event which she says, attracts people from across the UK.

She said: "I'm really pleased with the turnout, it's become an event that people want to come to and it's just full of people, it's fantastic.

"It's grown and grown and it's good for the town, it's good for the area and it's good nationally.

"What started as a good idea in a little town in Cumbria, now sees people who haven't heard of us coming just for Printfest.

"Hopefully everyone has enjoyed it enough to come back next time."

And its not just Cumbrian art lovers, tourists and curious revellers who can get to learn more about the world of printmaking.

Regular contributor, Mark Pearce who grew up in Seascale, said he loves to meet with other artists at the showcase and learn new techniques which improve and develop his craft.

The Ravenglass based artist was showcasing a number of striking linocut prints in bold, vivid colours.

Speaking about his work, he said: "People are very interested here, I've had lots of good feedback.

"It can take about a month or two for each piece. I just love colour."