WITH any major news story like the Skripal attack, the lack of information in the public domain inevitably leads to rumours and counter rumours taking root. What has happened to the disappearing ducks in the Maltings? Answer – they’ve gone off to find people to feed them bread elsewhere. Were the rabbits left behind in the pub also poisoned? Answer – they were taken to Porton Down for a check up, but are also fine.

Fisherton Mill, meanwhile, has seen some out-of-towners confusing it with The Mill pub and assuming it is closed. But the award-winning art gallery, café and studios complex is very much open and gearing up for one of its largest exhibitions of the year – Impress III, which opens this Saturday. Earlier this week, I caught up with Lauren McQuaid, one of the curators, who told me a little more about it.

The focus of Impress III is on printmaking. It’s the third year that Fisherton Mill has run the exhibition, quickly establishing itself as one of the gallery’s most popular events. This year’s version is the largest yet, with eleven printmakers displaying their work, many of whom are doing so in Salisbury for the first time.

Printmaking as an art form is an umbrella term for a number of different techniques: everything from woodcuts to relief printing, silkscreen to etchings, lino cuts to lithography. As techniques go, many of these stretch back through the years: lithography had its origins at the end of the eighteenth century; etching as an art form was first used three hundred years earlier; woodcut was regularly used in China by the fifth century.

Lauren, whose own artwork specialises in lino printing, explained that one of the attractions of printmaking as a technique is in its tangibility. Whereas technology can take art away from the artist, there is a richness, depth and physicality to printmaking that really appeals. The same can be said of its connection back to older art forms – a sense of an artist using techniques from the past to capture the world of today. Thirdly, there is the uniqueness to each individual print: once it is made, there is no touching up that can be done.

The artists chosen for the exhibition not only showcase a variety of techniques but offer a variety in subject matter – everything from Margaret Ashman’s ghostly female figures to Sarah Duncan’s fascination with astronomy.

It would be very easy for Fisherton Mill to focus on perennially popular themes, such as landscapes. One of the exciting elements of Impress III, however, is the way it showcases artists and artwork that little bit different and unusual.