Curation

Assorted Treats (2013)

Article text
Photo Credit - Ben Rak
In conjunction with Art Month Sydney 2013, Art Est. Gallery hosted Assorted Treats – Works on Paper from Cicada Press. Exhibition Coordinator Lisa Woolfe discusses the exhibition.

In late 2012, I was tossing around ideas for Art Est. Gallery’s 2013 Art Month Sydney exhibition schedule. I had already decided that I wanted this exhibition to be ‘paper based’. I had recently bemoaned, what I see, as a lack of interest in "works on paper" (be it printmaking, drawing or otherwise). I have never been able to understand the lack of gravitas works on paper seem to have. Our major galleries (including the AGNSW) have large collections of rarely seen works on paper - usually squirrelled away in storerooms. If major galleries do not have a lot of interest, then I suppose it follows that commercial galleries would have little interest. Art Month Sydney brings a large number of visitors to the gallery, so it was a perfect time to stop complaining and to start a mission to spread the word about works on paper!.

It occurred to me: What a better standard of "works on paper" to feature than an exhibition of works from printmaking workshop Cicada Press. An exhibition with Cicada Press would have two added bonuses: promoting printmaking (a subject dear to me) as also the unique teaching opportunity this print workshop provides to students of CoFA, UNSW. And with a few emails, it became so.

My association with Cicada Press is as a CoFA printmaking graduate. At Cicada Press, CoFA students work alongside established artists invited to make work in the print room. Students go on to help edition the prints. As a former student, I can attest to the huge privilege the opportunity to work alongside practising artists affords. Watching these artists in the physical act of making an image, but more importantly ‘see’ the thought processes (and sometimes struggles) involved in the picture making process is a true eye opener and unique learning experience.

The show included a who’s who of Cicada Press collaborations over the last 10 years, with work by Elisabeth Cummings, Euan Macleod, Fiona Hall, Vernon Ah Kee, Locust Jones, Adam Cullen, Ian Grant, Jenny Orchard, Chris O’Doherty aka Reg Mombassa, Martha MacDonald, Punata Stockman, Michael Kempson, Luke Sciberras, Michael Callaghan, Alfreda Minor, Alison Minor, Valerie Lynch, Laurel Nannup, Gregory O’Brien, Jasper Knight, John Pule, Guy Warren, Locus Jones, John Reynolds, Robin White

We were pleased to have a large crowd attend the Gallery for an artist talk with Michael Kempson and Euan Macleod. Attendees gained an entertaining insight into Cicada Press and the work and working methods of Michael and Euan who were both generous with their time.

In association with the show, Art Est. Art School also ran printmaking workshops for kids. During the workshops, kids learned printmaking techniques including drypoint and monotypes. They all created fantastic works and got a kick out of seeing their work framed and on display in part of the gallery space.

On behalf of the Gallery, I thank Sally Marks and Michael Kempson for curating the show. Also thanks to COFA printmaking graduates David Quoy, Qianwen Xie and Rachael Helmore for ably assisting during the Kids Art Month printmaking workshops.

Lisa Woolfe
Exhibition Coordinator