The Sydney Printmakers group members respond to the idea of ‘origin’.

28 June, 2024
In Exhibitions,
Printmaking, Q&A


Max Gosling, Studies in Groovitation 2, rhythmic patterns E,G & J, 2022, etching & watercolour, 30 x 45cm, courtesy of the artist


Salvatore Gerardi, Lake Cathie, 2022, combined carborundum and relief, each panel 40 x 40cm, U/S, courtesy of the artist

Ben Rak, The Slick Veneer of Consensus, 2022, silkscreen on vinyl, 200 x 150cm,U/S, courtesy of the artist

Roslyn Kean, Calabash-Arcadia, 2022, relief woodblock and stencil, 92 x 192cm, U/S, courtesy of Irena Conomos

Susan Rushforth, Precipice, 2022,mokuhanga, 37.5 x 66.5cm, U/S, courtesy of Irena Conomos

Wendy Stokes, Guardians of Place, 2022,woodblock, stencils, and graphite dust, 12 panels each 100 x 70cm, U/S, courtesy of the artist

Q: What were some of the foundation ideas for this exhibition project?

 A: Sydney Printmakers embarked on an exhibition project that explores the concept of origin as the working title and a concept. This exhibition invited members to expand both the nature of their images and respective practices through printmaking. The theme allowed for a broad scope in personal interpretation dealing with authentic research into one’s identity, family history, a connection to Australia and perhaps a less personal approach, as an investigation into origin as part of the current conversation; the beginning of something new and returning to the origin of place.

It was envisaged that members would work with their individual passions, concerns, and processes to address some of the above concepts. The first opportunity to exhibit Origin was at the Glasshouse Regional Gallery, Port Macquarie in 2023.

Q: How did the artwork selection take place?

A: Members of Sydney Printmakers were invited to make works in response to the theme Origin, allowing for their own interpretation without restrictions.

All works were submitted to the gallery and the gallery director had the curatorial right in the hanging of work. All submitted works were included.

Q: How does the exhibition manifest – what do visitors experience?

 A: Origin provides the audience with a journey of discovery across a myriad of print processes. The artists have created works that reflect persona l/ historical connections with family, place, sound, and object. Catalogue statements invite you into the personal world of each artist opening avenues of discussion and their relationship to Origin.

Q: What are some of the key works and what subject matter do they deal with?.

Salvatore Gerardi, Lake Cathie:

This work is a direct reference to the environmental concerns surrounding the water catchment of Lake Cathie. My investigation of the lake, and the mid north coast of NSW, began several years ago.  In 2022, I returned to the origin of this exploration and this work has become embedded in my memories of the site.

Max Gosling, Studies in Groovitation 2, rhythmic patterns E, G & J:

In badger culture the process of Groovitation is the method of producing energy through sound, specifically rhythm and music. In this work I explore the “Planting of the Drums” parade, with the aim of documenting the origins of the celebration. At its core, the “Planting of the Drums” parade is a Groovitation event.

Roslyn Kean, Calabash-Arcadia:

My origin; the place I identify with the most, the home of my great grandparents, my grandparents, and our family. A working farm in Arcadia, the

name chosen for the rural area on the outskirts of Sydney by my great grandfather, first land holders in the area.

Ben Rak, The Slick Veneer of Consensus:

This is an attempt to shed light on the ways in which people (including myself) conceal or reveal themselves in order to gain visibility, avoid marginalisation, and enjoy the privileges afforded to dominant groups. I use the print process as a metaphor for otherness, drawing parallels between art practice and social interaction.

Susan Rushforth, Precipice:

At the escarpment edge begins the cascade of falling water to the ocean. In the print Precipice, the flowing water is the central element that represents the beginning of the journey of water through the landscape. The print explores different qualities associated with the movement of water and the dramatic waterfall.

Wendy Stokes, Guardians of Place:

The willow and poplar have become embedded in my work as guardians of place, carrying deep meanings connected to childhood spaces where formative experiences of landscape took hold; those which reinforce the power of memory and as a place linked to ones origin.

Q: What is it about the printmaking experience that you most appreciate?

A: Printmaking has no boundaries; techniques are always evolving and allowing for new modes of expression.  Artists / printmakers can create limitless variations within these technical opportunities in order to express their ideas. Members of Sydney Printmakers embrace both traditional mediums and explore possibilities with the new digital world.

ORIGIN, Sydney Printmakers, Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, 300 George Street, Windsor, 28 June-8 August. Opening event Friday 28 June 6-8pm. Artists in conversation Sunday 28 July 1pm.


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