Awards push print edge

BROCCOLINI as a printmaking tool? The Fremantle Arts Centre’s Print Awards are anything but ordinary.

Now in its 40th year the awards have been at the forefront of a revolution that challenges the very idea of what a print even is.

Joel Gailar’s 2008 wining work Hot Process raised eyebrows, and questions of originality, with its use of a $4 mass-produced magazine.

“It wasn’t an artistic work in the idea of old-school printing,” Fremantle council art curator Andre Lipscombe says.

The advent of digital, and cheap 3D printing has seen huge changes in print making, he says.

“Since the 1970s printmaking has surpassed the concept of the ‘original’ print, becoming an integral part of contemporary art practice and an essential element of our digital culture where the mass production and consumption of imagery is the norm.”

• Big Night Skull (linocut) by Tony Ameneiro

• Big Night Skull (linocut) by Tony Ameneiro

Twenty-two past winners will be on show as part of the 2015 awards, with the remaining 29 (some years there were joint winners) projected onto walls, thanks to local film-maker Steven Hughes.

“The images will travel along the wall spaces and merge,” Lipscombe says.

Winners become part of Fremantle council’s art collection — the largest municipal collection in WA.

“[And] Fremantle is a major player nationally,” Lipscombe says. Artists nationwide vie for the $16,000 top gong and $6000 second prize.

This year’s winners will be announced Thursday September 24, and  past and present exhibitions will be open to the public September 25–November 15. Entry is free.


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