31 July 2014

Call for Entries: NZPPA 2015

Entries are now open for New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Award 2015
I'd like to encourage all NZ printmakers to consider submitting your best work for this award.
One of the final suggestions from last weekend's discussion
was to "make amazing work that cannot be ignored!"

The New Zealand Painting & Printmaking Award is NZ’s most valuable, acquisitive cash award 
for New Zealand artists working in two-dimensional artworks, with a $20,000 prize.
The judge for 2015 is Dr Anne Kirker, an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Queensland College of Art, who now works as an independent art consultant, curator and writer.
The topic of her PhD thesis was `Printmaking as an Expanding Field in Contemporary Art Practice'
so I think this is an ideal opportunity to showcase NZ printmakers' contemporary print practice.

Carole Shepheard, Print Gymnastics - Vault

No excuses... You've got plenty of time to make something - Entries close on 17 October 2014.
Entry can be made online or by completing a paper form. 
Artists may submit multiple entries. Entry fee is $40 per entry 
The exhibition of selected works will run from 14-26 February 2015.

30 July 2014

NZ Printmakers in 34th Mini Print International of Cadaqués

A very big "Congratulations!" to these NZ Printmakers 
who were selected for the 34th Mini Print International of Cadaqués:
Kathy Boyle, Sue Cooke, Barbara Graham, Prue Mac Dougall, 
Rosemary Mortimer, Ljubica Radonich (Ribana) and Geoff Tune.

Pure Mac Dougall, Cloud 9,  2013

Prue Mac Dougall was a winner in 32nd Mini Print in Cadaqués (2012) 
Her prize was a solo exhibition at the Taller Galeria Fort in Cadaqués.
You can see all the images that Prue exhibited in her Cadaqués exhibition
on her website: pruemacdougall.com

Geoff Tune, Thinking of Mackintosh 11, 2013

Geoff Tune was also a selected artist in 32nd Mini Print in Cadaqués (2012). 
This image is based on a window in an apartment in Port Vendres in the south of France
where Geoff stayed on holiday a couple of years ago.
It is where the Scottish designer Charles Rene Macintosh
ended his days as a painter of rather stunning landscapes.

Kathy Boyle,  Circles 2, 2013

Barbara Graham, Sound, 2013

Ljubica Radonich (Ribana), 2013

Rosemary Mortimer, Intentions II, 2013

Sue Cooke, Midnight Garden, 2013

You can view all the works in the 34th Mini Print exhibition here: Mini Print's website

29 July 2014

Artist Talk: Jeff Thomson, Kate McLean, Alexis Neal, 2Aug, Auckland

In correlation to the Printmaking: Beyond the Frame exhibition,
guest artists Jeff Thomson, Kate McLean and Alexis Neal
will be giving an artist talk at 1pm on Saturday 2 August at Gus Fisher Gallery in Auckland
to discuss the use of printmaking in their art practice.

Kate McLean, Grey Lynn, 2012-2013
Screenprint on glazed and fired clay

Alexis Neal, Waharua, Pou Aronui, Toa, 2013
Tea-stained printed relief prints, woven, installed size of 3 panels 140x87cm
Photo by Sait Akkirman, courtesy of Artsdiary.co.nz

Jeff Thomson, Home Lot (detail), 2014
Screenprint on corrugated iron, wooden pallet
Photo by Sait Akkirman, courtesy of Artsdiary.co.nz

These 3 artists were invited to be a part of this exhibition,
because they each have an interesting and unusual print practice.
I'm looking forward to hearing their perspectives.

To view more works from the exhibition, see www.artsdiary.co.nz

27 July 2014

Discussion Summary: The Future of Printmaking in NZ, 26 July

Yesterday I attended the panel discussion titled ‘The Future of Printmaking in New Zealand’, 
held at the Gus Fisher Gallery, coinciding with the exhibition Printmaking: Beyond The Frame
For those around the country that couldn't attend, the following is a summarized version of the discussion
between Dr Carole Shepheard (Artist, PhD Fine Arts, Print Advocate) 
and Steve Lovett (Artist, and Senior Lecturer, Manukau Institute of Technology).

Susanne Khouri, Intentions (detail, one of 6 pieces), 2014
Screenprint on silk organza, wire coathangers.
Installed size 260x58cm

Steve’s opening comments touched on printmaking as a process, 
having a tactility or “aesthetic resonance” with its substrate and viewer.
He spoke about print being a tool or vehicle, dialoguing with the world outside the matrix. 
This is a dynamic conversation, always evolving. 
Printmaking simultaneously interacts with both the history of print and its future.

Carole began by acknowledging the major contributors in NZ’s printmaking whakapapa, 
such as the NZ Print Council in the 60s-70s, past & present artists and art educators 
that have been influential advocates of printmaking in Aotearoa. 
A reminder to recognise these printmakers are fine artists - not ‘guild members’ or ‘craft artisans’. 
Carole also recognized and expressed appreciation for the generosity of NZ printmakers, 
 for willingly sharing their print knowledge and information with each other.

It is important to accept that printmaking today is different than it was 20 years ago, 
which is different again than 40 years ago – it doesn't stay the same. 
Printmaking needs to progress beyond the distracting limitations of definitions and traditional boundaries. 
Print has always faced some form of political action and challenge. 
Gutenberg’s adaption of the printing press (around 1448) triggered a revolutionary movement 
that could be described as agents of social change - politically subversive and socially disruptive – 
disseminating the bible to the masses challenged the Catholic Church’s hold on the Word of God 
and was hugely influential in the Protestant Reformation and the spread of Christianity throughout the world. 
Not long after this, Durer then used that invention to print woodcut images 
that comment on mass-culture, industrialization, distortion, corruption, and leisure. 
We can also utilise printmaking to cross the territorial divides 
of culture, politics, economic, technology, materiality, dissemination of ideas, etc.

Steve Lovett, some people who may (not) be here (detail), 2014
Screenprinted concertina book

Technology and materiality interact with one another, to constantly say new things. 
Steve raised the issue of the submission ‘criteria’ for this exhibition stating no digital works. 
No other discipline stipulated what technologies were/weren’t admissible, so why does Print? 
This tension around process has the potential to unsettle, 
but it also creates the potential for us to engage with fresh perspectives and techniques.

Carole proposes that we embrace this opportunity to take risks and experiment with new things. 
She encouraged artists to debunk a few myths and to raise the level of debate associated with printmaking. 
The works in this exhibition are beyond just a ‘craft’, there is advancement in ideas. 
Carole suggested the ‘recipe’ for bettering of Print is:
Print = Skill + Practice + Concept + Presentation

Printmakers love to learn new processes, and it is good to also engage in conversation about it, such as; 
“How might this be used? What does it mean if we go down this path? Has it any value or importance?” 
Yet the unpredictable about this discipline fascinates and excites us 
– innovation, invention and technological advancement – 
such as the adaption that took place in print with the impact of photography and photocopiers. 

You’ll never make good work by technique alone; it needs an idea to follow through with it. 
 Internationally, printmaking is now showing up in installation art. 
Steve recommends to his students that they start with 3 fundamental questions about their work 
as a starting point to position the idea: What is it? How is it made? Who else is making it?
We each need to develop a habit of making everyday, looking and responding to work and ideas. 
Let’s take this opportunity to have an adventure and conversation with both the practice and the context. 
Our print process can be likened to grammar – when it is used well we don’t notice it in the work.

Nicol Sanders-O'Shea, Home Cloud, 2014
Screenprint, mixed media, installation. Installed size 300x300cm.

Steve suggests it isn't common these days for writers, curators or institutions to be our advocates,
to publicly support and promote on behalf of individuals and/or printmakers as a group. 
There is a need to consider whose responsibility is it to train the next generation of printmakers in NZ?? 
Individuals? Practitioners? Organisations? Institutions? 
When educational institutions neglect to provide or sideline comprehensive print tuition, 
it has a flow-on effect through secondary and tertiary level to professional outputs in galleries. 
We need to encourage connections, especially with young members and senior practicing artists;
 sharing, investing, mentoring, etc. 
Let’s not be complacent or nostalgic about what NZ printmaking was in decades past, 
but consider ways to make it better going forward.

Carole commented on the ongoing dialogue about the importance of editioning.
She referred to a quote from Hugh Merrill, who suggests print should be understood 
as a fluid and vital means of expression rather than a secondary act of representation.” 

Printmaking is not bound by editioning, we can act with variability if we want – 
we can be as expressive and experimental in our process and ideas as any other art medium.
Carole suggested that perhaps printmakers make fewer prints in an edition, 
rather than struggling with archiving and storage issues of unsold works, perhaps 5-10 is sufficient? 

Jean Clarkson and Sue Pearson, Hei (detail), 2014
Relief print, screenprint, intaglio, installation 

She quoted Charles Cohan (Professor of Printmaking, Hawaii University), who wrote 
the print matrix, which is capable of multiplicities, could be used to produce variability, 
and should not be for replication purposes only”. 
Also, taking a light-hearted perspective, with the quote: 
Printmaking, like sex, is not only about reproduction” [author unknown].

In closing, Carole suggests a few potential ways we could strengthen contemporary printmaking:
  • Get more public galleries on-side to curate shows
  • Ask the CPCANZ to do a membership drive that recognises senior printmakers, Maori & Pacific Island printmakers, and students
  • Establish more professional contacts
  • Get to know curators and gallery dealers
  • Argue the ‘variable’ along side the ‘reproducible’
  • Limit public discussion about ‘process’
  • More productive links with our printmaking counterparts, especially Australia
  • More critical writing and articles
  • Make amazing work that cannot be ignored! 

A reminder that there are several opportunities for New Zealand printmakers to participate in; 
such as the curated print exhibition Impressive 5 later this year at Nathan Homestead in Manurewa,
 the Waikato Painting & Printmaking Awards, 
and the national Printmaking Awards being held again at Mairangi Arts in March 2015.

One of the attendees asked the question, “Where to from here? What do I do next?
Steve suggested to set a self-initiated ‘production quota’, for example, make a piece of work every day, 
read articles, look at artworks, dialogue with other printmakers about what we see and make. 
Carole also discussed the benefits of emerging printmakers being mentored by established printmakers. 
It can be as simple as communication through email to provide feedback and suggest alternative research, 
followed up by in-person visits to see the work, or forming small peer groups.

Maria Martin-Smith, Taking Time (detail),  2014
Letterpress, laser-cut box, pencils

Dagmar Dyck spoke on behalf of herself and several other artists, 
expressed her thanks and support to those who are already great advocates of printmaking. 
She noted that there was a frustration at the difficulty in getting quality NZ art resources, 
so we are all grateful for all the help that has been made available to us.

A participant queried where might be any way to share academic articles and useful links for printmakers, 
such as the quotes and articles mentioned in today’s discussion. 
I am happy to offer to host this kind of content here on www.nzprintmakers.com 
so it is available to printmakers regardless of whether they are Print Council members or not. 
I welcome all NZ printmakers to send me information about any printmaking exhibitions 
and print-related projects (both in NZ and international) 
that can be shared for the betterment of our knowledge and practice.

Please feel free to add your comments and additional ideas below, 
or head over to NZ Printmakers page on Facebook to post some ideas or discussion topics.

03 July 2014

Recent Arrivals, 9July-16Aug, Wellington

Solander Gallery in Wellington are hosting an exhibition called Recent Arrivals, 
with new artworks by Catherine Macdonald, Margaret Silverwood and Ben Reid
Opening this Saturday 9 July, up to 16 August

Catherine Macdonald, he wasn't one to gamble but he was one to push his luck, 2014
Drypoint etching, 19x27cm

Catherine Macdonald
They say life is a journey, so that being the case, each day we travel a little further on it, 
brushing up against people and places that can change our course for better or worse. 
From these interactions we construct stories of our own or others; 
they can be based on speculation, fact, gossip or manipulated truths. 
There is truth somewhere in these works.

Ben Reid, a rainy day, 2014
intaglio and relief print

Ben Reid
Ben Reid is a Christchurch-based printmaker whose interest in the fragile relationship 
that New Zealanders have with the natural environment and its ecosystems is complex. 
Reid brings together a myriad of references that draw attention to the complexity 
of a relationship with the natural world that has been both exploitative and beneficial to humanity. 
Yet Reid’s images retain a faith in the redemption of this relationship with nature.

For more information, see www.solandergallery.co.nz 

01 July 2014

Printmaking: Beyond The Frame, 4July-30Aug, Auckland

There are 3 print-related exhibitions on at Gus Fisher Gallery in Auckland
Opening Friday 4 July at 5.30pm, until 30 August

Printmaking: Beyond the Frame exhibition 
curated by Jacqueline Aust with guest exhibitors Alexis Neal, Kate McLean and Jeff Thomson. 
 Opening Friday 4 July at 5.30pm, with guest speaker Marilynn Webb ONZM 
An exhibition of work of members of the Central Print Council Aotearoa New Zealand (CPCANZ). 
The title of this exhibition refers to the frame that surrounds a two-dimensional work, 
isolating it from the wall and forming a barrier of protection or decoration. 
It also refers to the contemporary perception of print. 
In this exhibition artists investigate a variety of technologies and ideas 
while retaining a common reference point in traditional printmaking processes. 

Dark Arts: 20 Years of the Holloway Press curated by Francis McWhannell 
Opening Friday 4 July at 5.30pm, with guest speaker Associate-Professor Peter Simpson 
This retrospective celebrates the work of the Holloway Press, the fine press of the University of Auckland, 
which was established in 1994 by Alan Loney and Associate Professor Peter Simpson. 
The Press was named for Ron Holloway (1909-2003) of the Griffin Press, 
who gave the University the printing equipment that formed its basis.  

Foyer The Kindest Cut: Figurative Prints by Sam Harrison
Christchurch artist Sam Harrison (born 1985) draws his subjects from life 
then works on large scale plywood sheets to create the blocks 
for his woodcut print portraits of naked men and women. 
Andrew Jensen describes him as making “a thorough visceral enquiry, raking across the terrain of the body to expose the imperfect maps of our emotional and psychological histories.”

Sam Harrison, Walking Away, 2011

Related Events: Put these on your calendar!

Saturday 5 July, 1pm - Judge's Tour of Printmaking: Beyond The Frame
 Judge’s tour of the exhibition Printmaking: Beyond the Frame 
with Linda Tyler (Director of the Centre for Art Studies). 

Saturday 12 July, 1pm - Floor Talk with Sam Harrison
Sam Harrison discusses his subject matter, methods and materials 
with Virginia Were, editor of ArtNews New Zealand

Saturday 19 July, 1pm - Curator's Tour of Printmaking: Beyond The Frame
Central Printmaking Council member Jacqueline Aust gives a curator’s floortalk in the 
exhibition Printmaking: Beyond the Frame. 

Saturday 26 July, 1pm - Panel Discussion on The Future of Printmaking in New Zealand
A panel discussion chaired by Jacqueline Aust, with renowned artist Dr Carole Shepheard,
and Steve Lovett (Lecturer, Manukau School of Visual Arts). 

 Saturday 2 August, 1pm - Guest Exhibitors Floor Talk
 Jeff Thomson, Kate McLean and Alexis Neal explain the use of print in their work. 

Saturday 9 August, 1pm - Auckland Print Studios Talk
John Pusateri and Pepe Long from Auckland Print Studios explain how their business runs, 
with reference to the New Zealand artists with whom they work. 

Saturday 16 August, 1pm 
Join Holloway Press printers Tara McLeod and Alan Loney 
in conversation about their meticulous methods with Peter Simpson. 

Saturday 23 August, 1pm 
Francis McWhannell, curator of Dark Arts: 20 Years of the Holloway Press
interviews founder Peter Simpson about the press’s history. 

Saturday 30 August, 1pm 
Brendan O’Brien, a Wellington-based hand printer, 
reflects on his involvement with the Holloway Press. 

A catalogue for Printmaking: Beyond the Frame with an essay by Dr Robin Woodward 
is available for sale for $10.