The ‘Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award supported by Little Creatures Brewing’ celebrates traditional printmaking practices and new explorations of the medium with an annual showcase of prints and artists’ books by established, emerging and cross-disciplinary artists from across Australia. This year, Fremantle Arts Centre received 273 entries from which the judges selected 50 finalists for the exhibition as well as the winning artists.
The 2018 judging panel consisted of Lisa Roet, Melbourne-based senior artist and practitioner and winner of the non-acquisitive prize for the 2011 FAC Print Award, Ron Bradfield Currently residing in Whadjuk Boodja (Perth); Ron Bradfield is a man of the Bardi peoples from the Dampier Peninsula. As Membership and Indigenous Development Manager with Artsource Ron has worked extensively with visual artists across most of WA, also Annika Kristenson, Senior Curator, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, and Charlotte Hickson: Exhibition Manager, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth.
The first prize of $16,000 was awarded to Melbourne-based artist Deanna Hitti for her work TOWLA (2017). Hitti’s late father, Antonios El Hitti was a migrant from Lebanon. This work serves as homage to the pairs daily practice of playing backgammon or táwla when Hitti was a child. ‘The Arabic letters spell the instructions in English and the Latin letters spell the instructions in Arabic,’ shared the artist. This work is to be acquired as part of the City of Fremantle Art Collection.
Judges Roet, Bradfield, and Hickson remarked that Hitti’s work ‘presents a dialogue between her father’s homeland in Lebanon and his adopted country through which the artist articulates the joys and challenges of growing up biculturally in Australia. This work is a caretaker of memory that carries forward and shares the imprint of a family history.’
The second prize of $6,000 has been awarded to Fiona Elisala for her entry titled Uman (2018). Elisala is an emerging artist and Torres Strait Islander woman from Queensland, who uses printmaking as a platform for sharing her values, beliefs and unique identity. ‘Art is my tool for retaining and retelling the stories of my people and culture,’ says the artist.
Elisala’s winning piece Uman is documentation of three generations of women practicing weaving. Elisala’s grandmother taught her how to weave and this forms part of her practice along with linocut, etching, and screen-printing. These practices are daily reinforcements of Elisala’s cultural identity and the building blocks of her community. The basket at the bottom of the image represents the collective knowledge that is shared when gathering together, it is a vessel that cares for and retains the past for the future.
Four Highly Commended prizes have been awarded to two artists from Western Australia; Amy Perejuan-Capone for her work holding breath (2018), and AHC McDonald for Angel Under The Solandra Vine (2018), as well as two artists from Victoria; Jamie Powell for Inverse Variation, (20170, and Garth Henderson for his work titled constructive_botanics/banksia_grandis 02 (2017).
The 2018 finalists for the ‘Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award’ are: Hayley Bahr (WA), Elaine Batton (VIC), Nathan Beard (WA), Rebecca Beardmore (NSW), Sam Bloor (WA), Solomon Booth (QLD), Tammy Brennan (NSW), Katherine Brickman (NSW), Deidre Brollo (NSW), Leah Bullen (NSW), Bina Butcher-Monsees (WA), Eric C (WA), Maggie Calzoni (WA), Seong Cho (NSW), Olga Cironis (WA), Carolyn Craig (NSW), Christine Druitt-Preston (NSW), Fiona Elisala (QLD), David Fairbairn (NSW), Eva Fernandez (WA), Victor France (WA), David Frazer (VIC), Joel Gailer (VIC), Kate Golding (VIC), Mike Gray (WA), Emma Hamilton (VIC), Melissa Harvey (NSW), Garth Henderson (VIC), Deanna Hitti (VIC), Emily Hornum (WA), Clare Humphries (VIC), Jenny Kitchener (NSW), Hiroshi Kobayashi (WA), AHC McDonald (WA), Clyde McGill (WA), Gordon Monro (VIC), Amy Perejuan-Capone (WA), Jamie Powell (VIC), Brian Robinson (WA), Anne Starling (NSW), Paul Sutherland (WA), Lydia Trethewey (WA), Andrew Weatherill (VIC), Kate Webb (WA), Cleo Wilkinson (QLD), Gosia Wlodarczak (VIC), Jennifer Wurrkidj (NT), Tiger Yaltangki (SA), Christopher Young (WA) and Mariia Zhuchenko (NSW).
The winning works, along with the other 44 finalist entries, are on show at Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth, until 4 November 2018.