PressNorth Printmakers Professional Development Program video

Welcome to a 2015 and a new year for PressNorth! But before we start on the new and exciting things ahead, we just had to show you the outcome video that was made from the Professional Development Program. Funded by Regional Arts Fund (administered by Artslink Queensland), held at Umbrella Studio contemporary arts. Filming by Nathan Morris. Editing by Umbrella Studio…Enjoy!


Wanderlust: PressNorth Printmakers exhibition


The President, Jo Lankester, accompanied Angela Cheung from Umbrella Studio to Brisbane to help with the installation and speak at the opening launch of Wanderlust, an exhibition by PressNorth Printmakers at the Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane.
The project was a collaboration between PressNorth Printmakers, Umbrella Studio of Contemporary Arts, Flying Arts Alliance and the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. The Wanderlust exhibition comprises 27 framed prints by 21 members of PressNorth Printmakers.
The trip to Brisbane was a unique professional development opportunity for both Angela Cheung and Jo Lankester to work with Ben Werner, an industry leader of exhibition installation in Queensland. Ben lead a team of staff and volunteers from both Flying Arts and the Judith Wright Centre at a cracking pace to produce an elegant finish.
Wanderlust is displayed in a converted performing arts theatre at the Judith Wright Centre and has large windows leading directly onto Brunswick St offering passers by a glimpse of the exhibition 24hrs a day. The walls are painted a dramatic black and with the use of barn lights to frame each print individually they have created an amazing visual effect, you are not aware of anything else in the gallery space but the artwork.
The exhibition was officially opened by Judy Watson at the Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane, on the evening of Tuesday 21 October 2014. Flying Arts CEO, Stephen Clarke kicked off the proceedings speaking about the collaboration between the three arts organisations, PressNorth Printmakers, Umbrella Studio contemporary arts and Flying Arts. Jo Lankester was invited to speak after Judy Watson about PressNorth Printmakers. In her speech she highlighted the importance of working in partnership with arts organisations in our region and beyond. PressNorth Printmakers do not have a headquarters to call home, relying on working in partnership to hold exhibitions and run workshops for our members.
Read about Angela Cheung’s experience of installing Wanderlust is Brisbane:

Congratulations to our artists who sold framed works during the exhibition at the Judith Write Centre, 4 works sold in total to a new audience outside Townsville. Thanks to Townsville City Council for your financial support through the Grants of Excellence in the Cultural Development, assisting with costs for Jo Lankester to travel to Brisbane and speak at the opening launch.

Workshops conducted as part of PressNorth Professional Development Program

The four workshops conducted as part of the Professional Development program were completed in May this year. Below is a brief description of each workshop. Needless to say the opportunity to spend a few days with these amazing artists was unique and much appreciated by the participants.

Workshop Review: Peter Lancaster – Stone to Paper

Magic is the only word to describe the workshop I attended, facilitated by Peter Lancaster. So now when I hear “Philosopher’s stone” I think of him rather than the Harry Potter book by the same title. Peter and his assistant Eliza came to Townsville from Melbourne to teach us the fine art of Lithography – a printmaking technique using Bavarian limestone and old-fashioned chemistry (Science and art DO mix!).

Mr Lancaster (the wizard) taught us the basic principles of lithography: How the stone becomes receptive or repellent to either water or ink depending on the information you lay on the stone. This was the first time I’d heard of a drawing as “information” and it made a lot of sense to me – you slowly build up the information on a stone until it becomes a picture or whatever it is you’re printing. Mr Lancaster then showed us techniques with different drawing materials, and how to remove information from the stone with razors, sandpaper and some other secret wizarding tools. He shared with the group tips and tricks for mixing stone-processing solutions in easy dispenser bottles, and how he identifies sponges used for different steps. It was amusing to watch him communicate to his assistant without words: He would often just squeeze his hand to indicate when we wanted a sponge or make other gestures.

At one stage he let me learn from a mistake: While rolling ink on the stone it, it became too dry. Ink started getting into places it shouldn’t! I worried and everyone watched to see what would happen. Mr Lancaster said to me “You know what’s wrong, so how do you fix it?” and I said “It needs water!” but I hesitated as I wasn’t 100% sure. He left me hanging for a few seconds before agreeing and we saved my image with a wipe down of water.

By the end of the workshop, I had produced my best lithograph to date. I was so grateful to have their tutelage and for them sharing their skills with our group.

Written by Alan Junior, Photograph by Jo Lankester


Workshop Review: G.W.Bot: A life with linos

“Creativity is an act of uncertainty- the image is not done until it is created, so take the plunge, take a risk, find your own TOUCH and just do it.” (G.W.Bot)

Conversing with G.W. Bot throughout the workshop gave us an insight into how her art reflects her philosophical approach to life.  She said “Print of each other’s DNA”…”my stories, my space; I am the artist”. We were encouraged to see linocut as an extension of drawing.  G.W.Bot started the workshop with a conversation about the different “degrees of touch”, referring to the different marks that can be achieved on the lino using the same tools.  Each artist has their own touch: Matisse produced some simple linocuts that show the same line in different forms – harder pressure on the lino tool created a higher sound while softer pressure created a lower sound. This approach contrasted against Durer woodcuts that showed a more controlled realist approach.  Different approaches of mark making created different signatures of the artists.

G.W. encouraged students to work at their own pace, we could just spend the 3 days carving if wished or, as the majority of students did, carved 3 linocuts and printed non- stop……keeping G. W. on her toes for 3 days. She also encouraged us to experiment and let each print determine the next step. For me, I enjoyed the calm approach, first exploring dry embossing on previously printed images, a great technique with lots of potential for artist’s books. Second, I painted onto the lino with acrylic paint with a broad brush in a Motherwell/Tapies style and then carved the lino, a technique that created a more organic design.  I also used the soft and hard pressure applied to the roller and enjoyed the simplicity of hand rolling with the wooden rolling pin. Overall, the 3 days went fast and beautiful prints were produced, either as part of an ongoing process or as final.

Written by Karen Landt-Isley, photography by Umbrella Studio


Workshop Review: Trent Walter – The unique multiple image
 Respected printmaker, publisher and educator Trent Walter visited Townsville for a week long residency at Umbrella Studio. Part of his residency included an artist talk and a workshop with members ofPressNorth Printmakers. Trent is based in Melbourne where he runs the independent studio Negativepress. In his talk Trent presented first a summary of his work as a master printmaker collaborating with numerous other artists to produce prints. Then he gave us an insight into his own work as an artist. He spoke about his experiences as a senior printmaker in Singapore and went through many of the artists he has worked with and the images produced, all providing a springboard for learning the many possibilities of printmaking. Towards the end of his residency Trent taught an inspirational, enjoyable and productive three-day workshop. He guided us through a range of techniques including: print release using eucalyptus oil, water colour transfer from plastic to etching paper, stencil, reductive monotype using an inked plate, and spit bite aquatint, to demonstrate some of the rich diversity of ways of making marks in his unique multiple image approach to printmaking.Two artists books were finished with all artist participants contributing, and these will be shown at Perc Tucker gallery in the Dexterity exhibition in July. We extend a big thank you to Trent for a fantastic weekend.

Written by Jenny Terrey & Laura Castell


Workshop Review: Judy Watson: Drawing on the Stone

Over 3 days 12 workshop participants had the pleasure of attending a workshop with Judy Watson, the last of the artist residency/workshops that have been part of the RAF professional Development Program. Judy first taught lithography at Townsville TAFE and her mother Joyce was among her first students, so it was especially meaningful to have Joyce present at the workshop. Judy demonstrated on a small stone the various techniques to make marks, including drawing with litho pencils, litho crayons, rubbing crayons and the magical tusche washes. We spent the first day drawing our image, stopping for short discussions about techniques as the opportunities presented themselves throughout the day.  The next two days were spent on etching the stone and reworking the image as necessary. Judy used the stones she had worked on during her residency at Umbrella to demonstrate the various etching steps emphasizing all the time an intimate approach to letting the image guide the etching process. We saw how Judy went back to the image to rework some areas, add a transferred image and modify as necessary, ending up with quite a different image than that originally drawn. Finally, we had a collective stone where we all drew a small 12×12 cm image and printed it using a variety of colours, swapping the papers to get an overlap of images and discover the effects of combining colours and images while practising the inking and printing of the stone. The workshop was very inspiring and stimulating at many levels. We thank Judy and Joyce very much for the donation of some Lithography books to Townsville printmakers and for a wonderful time.

Written by Laura Castell, Photograph by Jo Lankester

These workshops were part of the PressNorth Professional Development Program funded by the Australian Government Arts Fund, which supports sustainable cultural development in regional, rural and remote Australia to give artists and communities better access to opportunities to practice and experience the arts. The program is delivered in partnership with Artslink Queensland. 

You are invited to Dexterity

19209Dexterity Exhibition opens at 12pm this Saturday at Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

Everyone is welcome to attend and below we have a schedule of events

12 – 12.30pm
Amber Church will introduce Jo Lankester to give a brief overview of the project and outcomes
Alan Junior as a representative of Umbrella Studio to talk about the highlights and benefits of the project for Umbrella Studio
Dexterity Artists to talk briefly about their either their artwork or participation in the project

The artist talks will be very informal 1-2 minutes each.

12.30pm – Jo Lankester Artist Talk, Cornerstone
1pm – Donna Foley Artist Talk, Lamina
1.30pm Refreshment
2pm – Gallery close for private critique for PressNorth Members

There is a private critique session planned for the end of the event at 2pm when the gallery closes. Please encourage members who are not exhibiting in Dexterity to bring a print a long to participate. Members attending are welcome to bring an additional image or include their Dexterity print as part of the critique.

We are looking forward to a fun celebration of post workshop.

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