Sixth symposium (2007)


Sixth Australian Print Symposium

National Gallery of Australia 30, 31 March, 1 April 2007

Convenor: Roger Butler, Senior Curator Australian Prints and Drawings, National Gallery of Australia

This symposium was supported by the Gordon Darling Australasian Print Fund

The Sixth Australian Print Symposium was held to coincide with the major exhibition The story of Australian Printmaking 1801 - 2005

Keynote address

The Tattoo/Fascist Contradiction
eX de Medici

eX de Medici lives and works in Canberra. She is an artist, photographer, printmaker, and performance artist and has been a practising tattooist since the early 1980s. Her tattoo business Deus ex Machina, had a reputation for avant-garde skin art. While she no longer works full time as a tattooist, much of her work evolves from this art form and the language of signs inherent in tattoo. de Medici has work included in the 2006 Asia Pacific Triennial, and recently has been the artist-in-residence at the Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne.



Sak yan and the woodblock.
Deborah Hill

Deborah Hill is a Phd candidate at the Australian National University where she has been researching the rituals of, and contemporary approaches to, Thai tattooing. Deborah’s paper will discuss the transfer of particular Thai images from carved woodblocks onto the skin as part of the tattooing process.

Images on the skin.
Barbie Kjar

Barbie Kjar is a Hobart-based printmaker whose figurative works on paper are laden with personal symbolism. She has held over 27 solo exhibitions since 1986 and has been granted residencies in print workshops in California, Tokyo and Barcelona. Her recent exhibition was titled Tatuar.

Samuel Tupou

Samuel Tupou is a Cairns based artist who draws inspiration from traditional Pacific Island tapa cloth design and readymade imagery from Western ‘pop culture’. Through the medium of silkscreen printing onto acrylic and other plastics and the application of repeat pattern and motifs from the everyday, Samuel’s work reflects a contemporary vision of life in tropical Australia.

The persistence of images

Danie Mellor

Danie Mellor is a skilled printmaker (sometimes working in mezzotint), and sculptor. He currently teaches Theories of art practice at Sydney College of the Arts. His art focuses on issues associated with personal identity and Australian Indigenous culture.

The meaning of Lao culture in my work.
Savanhdary Vongpoothorn

Savanhdary Vongpoothorn has been painting for thirteen years. Central to her work is the tactile quality of perforated canvas and paper. Her works synthesise the Australian landscape with her Lao cultural background, from traditional textiles to, more recently, sacred/secular Buddhist text (incantations). Savanhdary's Floating words 2005-06 was included In the Biennale of Sydney 2006. This work, made up of Braille pages written in Vietnamese, was annotated with quotes by two revolutionary leaders Ho Chi Minh and Kaysone Phomvihan. She is continuing to explore the idea of language and has recently experimented with the print medium.

Memories of a childhood.
Roy Kennedy

Wiradjuri artist Roy Kennedy grew up on Warangesda Mission at Darlington Point in the Riverina District of NSW during the Depression. He spent much of his working life as an itinerant agricultural worker in the district and in later life moved to Sydney. In 1995 he enrolled at the Eora Centre for Aboriginal Studies at the Sydney Institute of Technology, where he began depicting his childhood memories in etchings and ceramics. Roy was student and artist of the year at Eora in 1999 and received a NAIDOC Week Award that same year.

The bite of the print

Redback Graphix
Anna Zagala

Anna Zagalais a freelance writer and art historian currently living in Melbourne. Anna wasawarded theGordon Darling Fellowship in 2005 and subsequently, undertook research into the Redback Graphix posters collection at the National Gallery of Australia.

On the street.
Azlan McLennan

Azlan McLennan is an emerging Australian artist currently living and working in Melbourne. In 2004, Azlan came to the attention of the Australian public with his political artwork Fifty Six a statement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and more recently with Proudly unAustralian an artwork based on a burnt Australian flag. Azlan will discuss his political print motivations.

Taring Padi: Indonesian street posters.
Jon Priadi

Jon Priadi wll speak about his involvement with Indonesian and East Timorese art collectives, Taring Padi and Gembel and the concept of people's art (seni kerakyatan). Jon will also discuss his current collaborative print project involving Taring Padi, Gembel and The Culture Kitchen (Canberra) featuring six mobile maps that travelled from Australia to East Timor and Indonesia. A short film of this process-based prokect will also be screened.

Imparting knowledge

Cicada as a teaching model.
Michael Kempson

Michael Kempson is a practising artist and the Director of the custom printmaking Cicada Press, at the College of Fine Arts, Sydney. Michael has worked with some of Australia’s most interesting contemporary artists and will speak about these collaborative printmaking experiences.

Working with Aboriginal communities.
Steve Fox

Steve Fox has had an extensive and varied career which includes many years spent working with Indigenous printmakers in Central Australia and the Top End. He is currently running his own gallery in Mogo on the southern NSW coast

Recent large scale works.
Dennis Nona

Dennis Nona pioneered the development of the highly intricate linocut prints unique to the Torres Strait Islands. He has documented in a vivid visual form the myths and legends of his Island and the wider Torres Strait. In more recent, large scale works he relates long and complex narratives with all the characters and events in one image. These stories were previously limited to storytelling and dance. Now seen in visual form and showing in exhibitions in Australia, Paris and London, Nona has helped bring the art of the Torres Strait Islands to a wider local and international audience.

Book marks

Paper skin, bound body.
Alex Selenitsch

Alex Selenitsch has exhibited his visual poems, artist’s books and sculptures since 1969. His works on paper focus on the subtleties of language, including the fluidity of translation. In 2001, Alex was the Gordon Darling Fellow, documenting the collection of Australian artists’ books at the National Gallery of Australia. Alex lectures in Architecture at the University of Melbourne. 

Mind and body mapping as a reckoning of the environment and society.
Wayne Crothers

Wayne Crothers has spent many of the last 20 years researching traditional Asian prints and producing contemporary artwork in Japan and Australia. His large-scale water based woodblocks, installations and other projects can be seen as a form of mind and body mapping that are a reckoning of the environment and society in which we find ourselves.

Folds and borders: looking for the edges.
Clyde McGill

Clyde McGill lives in Fremantle, working in printmaking, drawing, artists' books, performance, installation and video. His current interests include borders, words, threads and equality. He will talk about the central role tht artists' books have in bringing together all the facets of his practice. Clyde was awarded the Artspace Mackay Libris Award for National Artists' Books in 2006.

Printed skin

Memorial surfaces.
Justin Trendall

Justin Trendall teaches in the Printmedia Studio of the Sydney College of the Arts, the University of Sydney. He will be talking about his Monuments Project, a body of work that attempts to give cultural histories a visual form. Screenprinted on fabric, felt and insulation paper, the map-like architectural structures he makes as part of his project all begin their lives sharing the working title Tattoo.

Shedding skin.
Rachel Burgess

Rachel Burgess is a practicing artist and lectures in Printmaking and Art Theory at the University of Newcastle. Shedding skin is a collaborative print project with Faye Neilson. Digitally manipulated photographic images of human hands were printed onto a variety of materials, through the process of photo-lithography by Martin King at the Australian Print Workshop in 2005. Rachel will discuss the project and how three-dimensional glove 'skins' were formed from high quality prints.

Recent woodcuts.
Michael Schlitz

I think of a picture... I make it... I like to observe the natural environment. By living and working in a space close to the environment. Most of the work is reflective and autobiographical. I hope to ask philosophical questions that are open and interesting about the nature of the world and my experience of it.

Keeping in Touch

Impress Printmakers Studio, Brisbane
News from the Sydney Art on Paper Fair
Northern Editions
Print Council of Australia
Paul Smith, eStudio Editions
Nathalie Hartog-Gautier and Penelope Lee Ex-Ile
Anne Ryan, Curator Australian Prints, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Julie Chambers, Mildura
Barak Zelig

Wrapping up

Collecting prints in context.
Stephen Rainbird

Stephen Rainbird is Senior Curatorial Advisor at QUT Precincts in Brisbane. He has curated several contemporay print exhibitions including Workings of the Mind: Melbourne prints 1960s to the 1990s; Place and Memory: The Graphic Work of William Robinson; and Marks and Motifs: Prints from the PCA Collection. Stephen manages the QUT Art Collection Development Program, including the acquisition of prints. He will speak about the notion of 'collecting in context'.

What we talk about when we talk about print collections: collecting for a regional university.
Glenn Barkley

Glenn Barkley is currently the Curator of the University of Wollongong Art Collection. He has recently curated the exhibition Multiplicity: print and multiples from the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art and the University of Wollongong. Glen will speak about collecting and curating prints from the perspective of a regional art gallery curator.

Collecting: motives, sources and rituals.
Akky van Ogtrop

Akky van Ogtrop is the Executive and founding Director of the Sydney Art on Paper Fair. In 1988 she established Akky van Ogtrop Fine Arts, specialising in works on paper by 20th century masters, as well as contemporary Australian and international artists. As an independent curator she has presented various exhibitions. A director and manager of major arts events, Akky is an experienced arts administrator and creative manager with extensive contacts and national and international project experience.