Visualising Nationhood, Latrobe Valley
Youth and Adult program
Saturday 2 or Sunday 3 November
11am to 4pm
FREE Bookings due by 1 November
From Australia: 20 Graphic Positions, 45 Workshops, 112 Voices is a print portfolio and community-engaged printmaking project commissioned and produced by Trent Walter, artist and director of Melbourne-based publisher Negative Press. The project responds to ‘Aus Australien’, a print portfolio published in 1988 by Rene Block, the German coordinator of the 1984 and 1986 Biennales of Sydney. Literally translated as ‘From Australia’, Block’s portfolio of eight artists coincided with the Bicentennial and has become a celebrated time capsule of Australian art.
Approaching 2020 and the 250th Anniversary of the Pacific voyages of Captain James Cook, it is essential to revisit what ‘from Australia’ looks like now. Recently there has been a much needed re-evaluation of Australian history and the legacies of colonialism, and the ways this can be addressed through artwork. From Australia builds from and extends this trajectory by creating a time capsule of Australian identity that expands significantly beyond Block’s eight artists’ perspectives. To generate the content for the exhibition, Walter is drawing together the principal attributes of his collaborative print practice: working with individual artists, artist collectives; and running community-based printmaking workshops with diverse and marginalised communities.
The project consists of three elements/themes. 20 Graphic Positions is a commissioned portfolio of 20 printed artworks using intaglio, stencil, planographic and relief printing techniques. Confirmed artists for the portfolio include Brook Andrew, Simryn Gill, Maree Clarke, Eugenia Lim and Fayen d’Evie.
45 Workshops is a series of community-based workshops that engage with community groups and the public in locations across Australia. The workshops ask participants to engage in a series of drawing and printmaking exercises that operate as a provocation for conversation, debate and reflection on Australian identity, values and culture. Workshops are being held in partnership with arts and community organisations including University of Tasmania, Latrobe Regional Gallery, Mimili Maku Arts, Artspace Sydney and Arts Projects Australia.
112 Voices is a series of video-recorded oral histories presented as a series of HD videos that delivers aural responses to the projects’ aims and includes interviews with project artists, participants in the community workshops and related community members alongside members of the public.
An exhibition of the project will be held at Latrobe Regional Gallery in February 2021 and will then tour nationally with NETS Victoria. With the consent of participants, all works produced in the workshops will form an archive of the project and will be included in the exhibition and tour.