On Wednesday 7th June we had a visit from a group from the Malvern Historical Society. Organised by their president, Lorraine, John Hinds led them around the through the building, looking at various oddities and perplexing things that remain from its incarnation as a Fire Station. He then showed them the printmaking side of the current residents and explained what we do here. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves!
Terry McKenna organised an Australia wide Exhibition of Mokuhanga at Firestation Print Studio which opened on 31 May 2017. It was an interesting exhibition with works from all over Australia. Mio O was the judge and deemed Takuro Yokoo's untitled the winner of the Awagami Prize and Matt Paul's Red House was the second prize winner.
This year we had a day devoted to Life Drawing on the 17th January. Sue Top facilitated the day and had some clothed and unclothed models to draw.
Neil Wallace, is a name known to many Australians and I guess many around the world. We at Firestation Print Studio are extremely lucky to have him as a member here. On the 25 & 26 February he gave us a wonderful papermaking workshop which far exceeded my expectations! We learned about both Western and Japanese papers and how they were made and made some of each. We made our own frames for making paper and learned about fibres and natural additives. I went home with a handful of handmade paper and a frame and straight away made some more paper at home. Loved it! Thanks Neil. You are a generous teacher indeed!
This year, Mecwacare applied for a grant to allow their clients to come here once a week for an art class. This has a number of benefits, both for them and for us. Their clients come out to a professional place to make art, which is exciting and out of the ordinary for them, we benefit from sharing our knowledge and expertise with them and understanding more of their lives. Mecwacare also applied for a grant for us to have a portable wheelchair ramp permanently, which has been very useful and a very kind thought.
John Hinds and Wendy Leason each gave several lessons (there were 8 in total) and they ended up with an exhibition that John and Wendy curated.
Below are pictures of the beautiful exhibition which opened on the 30th March 2017.
Printing on Canvas with Colours... a workshop by Angela Cavalieri on 2nd April 2017. A small group of dedicated printers did this one day course with Angela. Kerrie, from Darwin and Helen from Canberra joined three FPS members, Anastasia, Kathleen and Marie.
Lots of fun was had by all, and the output was very interesting. They cut a block and printed it, so it was a very busy day. The first pic shows Angela's work in progress in the gallery "studio space".
Firestation Print Studio was very privileged to be chosen as a venue by the Glenferrie Road Malvern Business Association for their Street Meet on the 22 March 2017. Wonderful food and wine (that champagne was really really good...Oh, French, I see)... supplied and sparkling conversation from the local business traders that came. Overseen of course by mover and shaker Alex Hume for the Trader's committee. Most of the traders had never been inside our Firestation before, and had very sketchy ideas of what happens here, so it was a delight to initiate them into printmaking mysteries. Bronwyn Rees had kindly put up an exhibition to explain the process of drypoint etching on acetate, including her plate.
Some of our committee members came too, and it was a top notch night! Thanks GRMBA!
Angela Cavalieri is currently our first Artist in Residence courtesy of an Arts and Culture Grant from the City of Stonnington. She is doing a residency here, where she is working out of our gallery space, on show for public and FPS members alike. Her commission is to make a big linocut to be printed on canvas about Firestation Print Studio and its history. Angela has a huge CV, and most recently was in Hong Kong where she made a very long work on paper. We are very privileged to have Angela with us. She has given one talk to members and will give another talk to the public on the 13th May.
Here are her initial drawings (direct to the lino) and the "studio" set up.
Annie Day and Robin Ezra, aka the Printmaking Sisters kindly came and gave us a three day workshop at Firestation on 4-6 March 2017. It was an exciting workshop, full to the brim of keen as mustard students.
Waterless Lithography is a rather newish technique that Annie and Robin have perfected. It requires very specific ingredients I found whilst I was collecting all the various bits and pieces needed. However, it wins hands down for its non toxic properties. Unfortunately this time I was not well and couldn't do the course myself... so I hope these two wonderful printmakers return to Firestation sometime in the future.
By the Book: an exhibition of booky things at Firestation Print Studio was an unexpected delight: I hadn't realised how many people were interested in books, making books and including booky things in their artworks. The standard was very high and very interesting indeed. The exhibition went from the 8th to the 26th February 2017.
At Firestation Print Studio our association with Books has been of recent origin. We started in 2013 with a Book plate exhibition which touched a nerve across Australia. We had no idea what we were doing, nor that a “bookplate” had rules! To our surprise we were inundated with people who were fascinated by the bookplate and that led to Robert Littlewood having an exhibition here of his collection of bookplates, and to our members learning more about the genre.
At the same time FPS was learning about making books… artist’s books, not ones made under the master bookbinder’s arts. We had Adele Outteridge from Brisbane and Guy Begbie from Bath teach us techniques to use. And we were off! We now have a small but very passionate Book Arts Club who meet once a month. We have since sold two of our books to the State Library of Victoria.
So I thought it was time to find out what our members were doing with Book related themes and got a shock! This exhibition was amazing – in its content and its technical mastery. Artists are beavering away with their images and formats and producing really interesting works. We even had one bookplate. By Richard White, it’s a green frog – a linocut – and was sold instantly!
This may be the first exhibition about books and booky things, but certainly won’t be the last!
Edith May is manager of FPS. For blogs prior to 2015 click here