On Friday night I went to the opening event for Myrtle Street Studio, a new gallery focusing on print and works on paper, including artists books. The gallery is the brain-child of Jay Dee Dearness, a "cyber-friend" who I had the pleasure of meeting on the night.
The gallery space is small, but beautifully-appointed and purpose-built. It looks certain to fulfill a need for an ARI in Brisbane that focuses on works on paper, rather than the more common media of video-art or graffiti-style works, found in many ARI around town.
Pine Apples is a collaborative exhibition between two groups of printmakers, Impress here in Brisbane and Hunter Island Press from Tasmania. The show opened in Tasmania and has now moved up here, where it will remain open until April 3rd.
Attending the show gave me an opportunity to get a feel for the work produced by the members of the Impress group. Not being a trained specifically in printmaking has made me hesitate to join in exhibitions, and while I'm a financial member of the group, and I've been to two workshops and used the studio equipment, I haven't made any personal connections with the group as yet.
I did see some inkjet pigment prints included in the show, and from the general talk around me, it seems that people regarded these works highly. This is an area I feel more confident about, so I am hoping to participate in the Impress annual exhibition, Impressions 5, in April. Hopefully this will enable me to meet a few people and get the connections going!
To finish off, I thought I would highlight a few of the artists whose work I most admired in this exhibition. I've attempted to find links for you that take you to the actual work shown, but where this was not possible, I've linked to work that has the same flavour.
First off from Tassie, I loved Deborah Asmather's gentle etchings. The works she is standing in front of, at the top of this page, have a similar feel to No North or South2 and Pencil Pines on the Central Plateau1 which I saw. Andrew Donahue showed a number of linocuts printed on black paper, which utilized simple design and colour schemes to great graphic effect. Jo Sculthorpe's drypoint collagraphs Tassie Girl and Queensland Girl also appealed.
The prints I really loved from the Impress group were monotypes by Sandra Pearce. She combined colourful transparent inks and texture, to create vibrant meditations on the pineapple. I've discovered that she has a blog and has some photos there from the printmaking session that resulted in these works. There were also some strong and detailed hand coloured linocuts, which caught my eye. There were two artists doing work which was similar, Judith Borrick and Elizabeth Burton.
There were a lot of other excellent works at the show and if you are in Brisbane, I recommend taking a look. I'd like to congratulate Jay Dee and wish her every success with this venture.