Printmakers create world’s longest linocut to celebrate Rugby World Cup

The world’s longest linocut, Scrum Down Print Forward, has just been made as part of the Rugby World Cup celebrations. Printmakers from across the UK worked together to set a new World Record for the longest linocut print ever created at 33 metres long. The finished print was presented to Twickenham’s World Rugby Museum on Thursday 29 October at 3.30pm, ahead of the tournament’s final on Saturday 31 October.

Arts Council National portfolio organisations Northern Print, Leicester Print Workshop and London Print Studio took part in the project, printing the linocut with a scrum machine and rugby players as part of an outdoor spectacle in Newcastle upon Tyne city centre. The project was supported by the Arts Council with £12,250 through our National Lottery funded Grants for the arts programme.

The outline design for the linocut was commissioned from award-winning illustrator Sara Ogilvie. This was then added to and cut in all 11 host cities for the tournament, with over 1,000 people taking part. In addition 20 individual rugby ball shaped linocuts were created by artists, illustrators, students and rugby players from all 20 competing nations and former England rugby player Toby Flood created the design for England’s contribution. The individual lino linocut balls have been printed and are exhibited at Northern Print until the end of October in an exhibition entitled Line-Out as well as being inserted into spaces to form part of the record breaking print.

Northern Print’s Director Anna Wilkinson said, ‘

Printmaking and print studios are by their nature places of collaboration and support and the theme of teamwork (a core value of rugby) was perfect for this project. We could never have achieved anything on this scale without working together and it was great to see the amount of energy and effort each of the studios put into working with their communities to complete their section. The final printing event was great fun and a chance to bring people (printmakers, volunteers, kids, rugby players) together. I hope that new print projects will come from these new relationships’.


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