InkMasters Print Exhibition, Cairns.
InkMasters Print Exhibition is part of InkFest, a biennial festival of printmaking. I was lucky enough to have one of my works selected as a finalist this year.
I travelled up to Cairns for the Friday evening opening at Tanks Arts Centre. Simon Wright from Queensland Art Gallery gave a talk titled “What keeps me awake at night” in a talk on why art matters to us, and what art issues should matters to everyone. This was followed by the exhibition launch, and the announcement of prize winners. Glenda Orr won the main printmaking award with her etching with aquatint and spit-bite ‘Offsetting.’ Daniel O’Shane took the Indigenous award with his impressive (22cm x 120cm) and incredibly detailed vinylcut ‘ii ra mere ne Gawei (the sounds of tears and Gawei). The artists book award was given to a local Cairns artist Hannah Parker for her 8 metre long screenprint on fabric ‘Through Squid Eyes.’
Fellow Bittondi member, Elizabeth Banfield was also a finalist in the artists book section, with Bittondi workshop presenters Terry McKenna and Bronwyn Rees also being finalists.
Sunday morning was the day of The Big Print. Local schools and colleges had been involved in carving vinyl (yes vinyl– it seemed to be common practice for Cairns printmakers to use this instead of lino), ready for The Big Print day. I was able to watch the final stages of inking up of about 20 metres of plates. Fabric was carefully laid over the top of the plates, followed by boards. Then, with the aid of a steel pan band, and a couple of belly dancers, we were all invited to dance the length of the print. This continued for around 20 minutes. Then the big reveal…..the boards removed, and a team of volunteers lifted the fabric. Success! The Big Print was shown to all.
I’d like to finish with a quote from Margaret Genever (from InkMasters, Cairns) “Printmaking artists astound with their dedication to continuing – and pushing the boundaries of age-old print media. They also discover and augment new technologies, and often inventively meld traditional with newer means of creating images on paper and other surfaces. Most importantly, they use these materials and techniques to articulate conceptual interests that range from quiet, contemplative reflection to critical commentary and activism. The works on exhibition in the InkMasters Print Exhibition 2018 provide evidence of all of these qualities and more, expanding our perceptions of the world and assuring us of a vibrant printmaking future.”
The images show artists books ‘Pteridomania’ by Molly Bosworth, ‘Bird.Watching’ by Mary Pulford, ‘A Stitch in Time’ by Penny Hudson, ‘Herewith (Worry Box) by Elizabeth Banfield, ‘Through Squid Eyes’ by Hannah Parker, ‘Out of the Box, WHY’ by Catherine McCue, ‘Family Portraits’ by Jenny Kitchener, ‘Sections (quintet of artists books) by Belinda Curry. The remaining images show the creation of The Big Print.