Black Prints from Cicada Press in USA
Black Prints from Cicada Press provides glimpses into the art practices of a variety of artists from across Australia. Some of the artworks are narrative-based, some are stories of memory, identity and tradition. Others should be considered conceptual art, albeit with a particular Australian Aboriginal twist.
The title is a word play on the Australian childhood summer obsession of collecting cicada carcasses. ‘Greengrocers’ are the most common and many of their carcasses can be traded for just one carcass of the rare and highly prized ‘Black Prince.’
Cicada Press is an educationally focused printmaking workshop at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales (COFA UNSW) in Sydney that places emphasis on open dialogue and the importance of lived experience in learning. Since 2006 Michael Kempson, director of Cicada Press, and Tess Allas, curator of Black Prints, have invited emerging and established Aboriginal artists to explore printmaking as an artistic practice in the form of workshops and residencies. Some of the artists were experienced printmakers, while others explored the medium for the first time. The result is an eclectic but meaningful exhibition addressing the contemporary Aboriginal experience in Australia today, by artists such as Gordon Hookey, Vernon Ah Kee, Reko Rennie and Laurel Nannup.
experimental beds, an exhibition of six prints by Indigenous Australian artist Judy Watson (Waanyi), is on view at the South Gallery of the Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture
of U.Va. through July 31, 2013.
Judy Watson visited the University of Virginia in October 2011 as an artist-in-residence at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection. Inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s architectural drawings of the Academical Village, Watson developed a set of etchings in collaboration with Professor Dean Dass and advanced printmaking students in U.Va.‘s print workshop. The resulting prints incorporate Jefferson’s drawings of the Rotunda and Pavilions along with Watson’s sketches of artifacts unearthed at Monticello’s Mulberry Row and vegetables grown in Jefferson’s “experimental beds.”
The project was co-published by the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, the artist and grahame galleries + editions in Brisbane.
The South Gallery is located on the first floor of the Harrison Institute/Special Collections Library on McCormick Road. Click here for the hours of the Harrison Institute.
August 28, 2012 – July 21, 2013
Contemporary art is defined as the art of our time. However, it is not simply the period of its manufacture that makes this art contemporary. Aboriginal artists use their art to express the issues that are relevant to their lives today. Therefore themes of identity, history and place dominate contemporary Aboriginal art.
Past Forward>>Contemporary Aboriginal Art includes works from the permanent collection by artists from many different cultures and walks of life. While some artists use stories from the ancestral past to express their identity and relationship to place, others focus on their own personal or family histories or on the experiences of post-colonialism within a larger global context.