September 6 – December 29, 2013
In 2000, David Bosun was chosen by elders as one of four artists to begin recording the Islands’ creation stories in the form of printmaking. This marked the first time that traditional stories took visual form since the loss of their material culture to missionaries and collectors a century earlier. Known for its strong figurative imagery and intricate design, or minaral, Bosun’s work reflects Melanesian influences inspired through longstanding trade between Torres Strait Islanders and coastal Papua New Guineans. The linoleum and woodblock prints in the exhibition Ngau Gidthal (My Stories), illustrate the ancestral traditions of the Mualgal people, from seasonal indicators used in ancient hunting practices to the significance of the constellations within the celestial sphere. This exhibition of woodblock and linoleum printswas presented in partnership with Ngalmun Lagau Minaral Art Centre and The Australian Art Print Network. Bosun’s residency was supported by the McIntire Department of Art, the McIntire Department of Music, and the Department of Drama. To learn more about David’s residency, please visit our special projects page.
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), was on view in the South Gallery of the Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture
of U.Va. from August 2012 through August 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.