Monday, September 24, 2012

A visit to Djumbunji Press

Last week Chris Stannard, Curator at Tanks Art Centre at the Botanic Gardens here in Cairns, suggested a visit to Djumbunji Press. Set up by Kick Arts in 2009. 

image found here

About Kick Arts:

KickArts Contemporary Arts is the leading contemporary visual arts organisation in regional Queensland and the most innovative in the state. Based in Cairns with a demographic encompassing Far North Queensland and extending into the remote and regional communities of Cape York and Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait), KickArts is dedicated to facilitating and promoting the contemporary arts and extending the experience and cultural life of northern Australians and more than 2 million annual visitors who come to Cairns.

This lead to a conversation with Elizabeth Hunter   Senior Printmaker, at Djumbunji Press .

I was very taken with her fine etching of wildflowers of Cape York, from drawings on trips north to work with various indigenous communities.

Earlier this year Elizabeth led a study tour to Florence revisiting the institution SACI where she taught in the 90's. 

Join Djumbunji  Press Senior Printmaker and Vice President of Inkmasters ELIZABETH HUNTER on a four-week tour of Italy, studying at Studion Art Centres International (SACI) situated in the heart of the historic city of Florence. SACI is housed in the Palazzo dei Cartelloni, a Baroque building in the city cente, a few steps away from  Michelangelo's Medici Chapel, the Laurentian Library and the bustle of the Mercato Centrale.  
SACI is one of the leading overseas institutions in the area of studio art, art history, art conservation, and design. Elizabeth taught printmaking at SACI from 1992-1999, and is keen to take artists to experience one of the worlds richest art , historic and cultural, living cities.
The summer term is 28 Jun-28 Jul. Visit or contact Elizabeth at Djumbunji Press 

Approaching Elizabeth whose work frequently involves collaborations with talented printmakers visiting Cairns, a program for indigenous artists undertaking year long residencies at the Press and in a variety of other contexts was humbling. She considered what I am doing and I returned next day to work on Lino on simple pieces I could take home and print.

Senior Printmaker Elizabeth Hunter helping a participant print a Collograph - Image here

About Djumbunji Press:   Djumbunji Press opened in March 2009, providing major cultural infrastructure for Cairns and Far North Queensland. With extensive printmaking facilities and experienced staff, Djumbunji Press offers artists across North Queensland the opportunity to develop their skills in printmaking to create new works of art.  The air-conditioned studio is set in a spacious open area on Greenslopes Street in the cultural precinct of North Cairns, opposite Centenary Lakes and the Cairns Botanical Gardens. Djumbjunji Press activities include: workshops from beginners to master classes in the studio and in remote communities; an open access studio for artists to print their own work; custom printing for artists who do not want to print their own work; and an Artist In Residence program.   KickArts Contemporary Arts commissions and publishes new fine art prints and professionally distributes these to commercial galleries, collectors, public institutions and online. KickArts also curates printmaking exhibitions for touring nationally and internationally.

Whilst there I conversed with last years resident artist Brian Robinson, whose recent exhibition Men and Gods also saw a stunning publication produced for the show.

Via here
Add caption
It was fascinating to discover that he was the artist behind a large artwork that's hanging in the residence where I am staying. I've wondered about the person behind this art work and was therefore very pleased for the chance to hear a little of his story. In fact this image (found here) shows the art work which is now at the house to the right of the artist.

It was slightly incongruous... sitting working on small line cuts in the company of Brian and Elizabeth... both exquisite printmakers indeed.

Where did I start?
Of course with a motif of that is central in my work...and most at home here in Cairns where I have already gathered Black Bean seed pods.

On the weekend I printed at home with these two lino-cuts and am planning to cut several small squares featuring cross-sections of seed capsules and then composing some mixed media works with them as starting points.

A small collection from last thursday.

Time to go... much work to be done around here.
    Wishing you all a good week!


ronnie said...

it looks like you've been having a marvelous time -- hope the prints come out well (oh - you know what I mean!)

ArtPropelled said...

What a wonderful opportunity for you, Sophie! Thanks for sharing. I'm enjoying all the seed love on both blogs.

Printed Material said...

Blue lino! What a gorgeous colour on its own Sophie. Look forward to seeing the resulting prints. Always interesting too to read about groups of printmakers and find out about the common passions that make them the same the world over. Some sumptuous shots of colour on that collection of flowers and seeds too. What exotica!

Caterina Giglio said...

your small line cuts are wonderful.. and motif is perfect... x

Sophie Munns said...

Oh... months later I just found all these lovely comments I had forgotten to respond to when I was up north... such a busy time up there I can tell you.

Always good to hear from you all!