I can’t say I’ve never done a print swap before, but this was a first for me – a print swap where 15 artists did one print in an edition of 15 so we all got 15 different prints. I’d been a bit wary of print swaps, but as this involved the Maleny Printmakers, a group I am a member of, I thought – why not?
The other group (who were the instigators) were the Saturday Printmakers from Toowoomba. Ute Braatz coordinated them, and Cholena Drew Hughes organised the Maleny Printmakers.
Our theme was ‘Connections’ and as someone pointed out – there are not that many things that are not connected! All prints were 20 x 20 cm and on printmaking paper of various types and weights.
Saturday Printmakers: Ute Braatz, Michaela Burton, Sian Carlyon, Jess Harris, Noelle Hodges, Lorna Robertson and Abigail S Watson.
Maleny Printmakers: Jennifer Eurell, Marie Farr, Neville Field, Cholena Drew Hughes, Jenni Matthews, Peter McLean and Karen Shaw.
If anything, the Maleny Printmakers had concentrated on the natural environment and connections to country. Neville Field’s linocut had a historical slant depicting the old Alice Springs telegraph station and the connection involved in telecommunication.
My own work, called ‘The Finch Connection’ was done with a saline etch on an aluminium plate. This was printed on Somerset paper, then handcoloured. It had come out of my trip to Bowra where the connection between the finches was obvious, as was their connection to the environment. They chose bare, dense, thorny shrubs which offer protection from predators and were also situated close to a waterhole. I’d only thought of finches as caged birds, so it was wonderful to see them in the wild.
The Toowoomba group leant a bit more to current topics with Ute Braatz’s print showing figures with masks alluding to COVID and Sian Carlyon’s work to the fear spread worldwide via the virus. She also notes that we may be more connected than ever through our mutual adversity. There was also an element of quirkiness in their work.
Now comes the big decision – what am I going to do with all those little prints?