Fremantle Arts Centre (FAC) have announce this year’s winners of the FAC Print Award supported by Little Creatures Brewing, the nation’s richest and most prestigious award for printmaking.
Western Australian artist Sam Bloor was awarded the $16,000 First Prize for In Unison, a relief print carefully removed from a graffiti- covered wall. Bloor has excavated this stretch of wall famous among local graffiti artists using purpose-made chisels, revealing layers of aerosol paint applied over more than a decade and held together by a coating of hardy council paint. His ‘found’ print offers a history of its parent site and the aerosol impressions of Bloors’ anonymous collaborators.
For the 2016 judges, Consuelo Cavaniglia (NSW), Dr Darren Jorgensen (WA) and Hannah Mathews (Vic), Bloors’ work pushes our understanding of what printmaking is in the 21st century.
“Through In Unison we can begin to rethink the history of printmaking in Australia. The first prints may well have been animal tracks, impressions of mega fauna left before the arrival of the First Australians who printed their handprints on rock walls.”
Victorian collaborators Elvis Richardson and Virginia Fraser were awarded the Second Prize of $6,000 for FEMMO™ Issue 4, 5 & 6. This bold triptych of magazine covers is a playful, feminist magazine without pages.
“The format of this work – bold words, eye grabbing colour, the template of the magazine cover – speaks not only to the history of print publishing but to the structures of power that include and exclude,” the judges said. “The work’s language is distinctly feminist and speaks to an audience of female artists, singling out those who are a statistical majority and yet remain a visible minority in the industry.”
“Sam Bloor’s In Unison socialises printmaking while literally showing us the layers of history of place and FEMMO brings feminism in art, and the perceived power of media, to the platform of magazines,” said Dr Ric Spencer, FAC Curator.
The judges also highly commended Shannon McCulloch’s (WA) clever exploration of power Hats and Brian Robinson’s (Qld) cosmological unification of Torres Strait Gods and space invader icons in Land Sea Sky: Charting our place in the Universe.
For over forty years the Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award supported by Little Creatures Brewing has remained a highlight of FAC’s exhibition calendar, presenting works that celebrate classical printmaking while simultaneously embracing cutting- edge interpretations of the medium. All works can be viewed in an exhibition held at Fremantle Arts Centre until 12 November, 2016.
Sam Bloor, In Unison (detail), 2015, aerosol, emulsion, 110 x 534 x 0.2cm, 1/1
Elvis Richardson & Virginia Fraser, FEMMOTM Issue 4, 5 & 6, 2015, screen print on cotton, 140 x 110cm, 2/6
Printer: Stewart Russell @ Spacecraft