From a Distance

Helen Mueller and Melissa Smith discuss the new Tasmania-based online exhibition ‘From a Distance’ at mayspace.

25 Junel, 2021
In Exhibitions,
Printmaking, Q&A

From top:

Mindy Dore, Marble Run IV, 2021, acrylic and silver pigment monoprint on BFK Rives, 76 x 56cm, unique state, Courtesy of the artist

Olivia Moroney, Where you prosper, 2021, aquatint, 60 x 80cm, Edition-5, Courtesy of the artist and Handmark Gallery, Hobart

Antonia Aitken, Fluid entanglement 2, 2021, hand and laser-cut woodcut on mulberry paper, 60 x 32cm, Edition-5, Courtesy of the artist

There is a lively and vibrant printmaking community in Tasmania and this on-line exhibition, put together by Melissa Smith and Helen Mueller, showcases a selection of its work. Practitioners well established in the discipline are represented, but the focus is on emerging and mid-career artists.

Imposed by a virus, ‘distance’ has become the imperative of our times. We are socially distanced, we are distanced from friends and family in other places as travel restrictions have been applied. Daily work and consumption of everything from food to culture and entertainment has largely shifted to on-line and has become an at-a-distance engagement. Our perspective is changing as our familiar terrain contracts. It is shifting from the global to the local.

The Tasmanian vision has perhaps always been one that came ‘from a distance’, a place that is an island below another island at the far end of the world. Geographical isolation and distance has often directed the focus of many artists living here to the local and the specific experience of what it means to be living and working on this island. Paramount to that experience is a response to the pristine natural environment, and a commitment to protecting its landscape into the future. Artists also look at their location more broadly and consider what it means to think of it as ‘home’, not just in terms of geography, but perhaps in the context of culture, politics, gender and race. Perhaps this view from a distance, one that steps away from the mainstream, provides Tasmanians with a unique ability to engage fully with and appreciate the local on a more immediate level, something we might all have to learn to do as distancing and isolation continues to circumscribe our lives.

These works by Tasmanian printmakers represent their perspective, from a distance, on where they live and how they see things from that viewpoint.

From a Distance is at mayspaceonline.com.au  during July.

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