Prints From The Griffith Studio
Lyn Burns • George Gittoes • Pamela Griffith • Greg Hansell • Bettina McMahon
Gina Monaco • Trevor Riach • Wendy Sharpe • Glenn Smith
23 JULY – 1 SEPTEMBER 2016
An exhibition of Limited Edition Prints by nine exceptional artists working from The Griffith Studio and Graphics Workshop.
In the Octagon ArtSpace
Bungendore Wood Works Gallery
Saturday 23rd July at 2pm by
Creative Partnerships Coordinator, Hazlehurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, Sydney NSW
Exhibition continues until 1 September 2016
As a young fresh-out-of-school apprentice Letterpress Printer in 1964 this writer soon became aware of the craft and art of the printing process, and its father figure German inventor Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg; who invented the first wooden printing press and soon after one of the most enduring and important inventions of human culture and learning – moveable, and reusable, metal type.
The apprenticeship completed, it was time to continue my education in the arts and craft of surfboard riding. My entanglement and passion for the “print” emanated from the con-current pursuit of photography and a fascination with silver, gelatin images on paper; and both continue to this day.
Here’s an eclectic and incomplete history of what I might have done, and become.
A Potted History of Printmaking
Woodblock printing is a technique for printing text, images or patterns and used widely throughout East Asia, originating in China in antiquity as a method of printing on cloth (the earliest surviving piece dates to before 220) and later, on paper.
Most European uses of the technique for printing images on paper are covered by the term woodcut, a relief printing technique in printmaking: an artist carves an image into the surface of a block of wood leaving the printing parts level with the surface while removing the non-printing parts. Ink is applied via a roller to the print areas and the inked block is pressed against the paper to form the image.
Most prints today are produced by replacing the wooden block with linoleum (and more recently vinyl); hence the term linocut.
Lyn lives in Sydney, working from her studio in Greenwich. She is a Fellow of the Royal Art Society of NSW, a member of Lane Cove Art Society, and weekend Gallery Manager at Lavender Bay Gallery.
“The natural world provides my subject matter and the majority of my works are created in the landscape, en plein air. I tend to turn away from every part of the built environment to concentrate on the wild, the beautiful, or the quirky in the landscape. There are very few straight lines in my work, I like the twists and turns, the ins and outs.”
Lyn’s favourite medium is pastel and she draws regularly, enjoying experimentation and finding new ways of looking at things.
Printmaking has enabled her imagination to run free and hopes to explore more techniques in the future.
George Gittoes AM
On completion of secondary school, George enrolled in the Fine Arts degree program at Sydney University. Further studies were undertaken in the USA underpinning his early career.
He was a pioneer in the seventies in mediums of holography, art and technology, photography as art, environmental theatre and environmental film. With a global vision, he has set up mobile studios and created works in the midst of conflict in all the theatres of war over the last three decades.
He won the Fishers Ghost Painting Prize twice; the Blake Painting Prize in 1992 and 1995; the Wynne Prize in 1993; received an AFI award in 1977; was awarded the Centenary Medal 2001 ‘for service as an internationally renowned artist’ and was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters from the University of New South Wales. He received the Sydney Peace Prize in 2015.
He has collaborated with his sister Pamela Griffith to produce 61 editions of etchings in the Griffith Studio and Graphic Workshop.
Pamela holds a Diploma of Art Education and a Bachelor of Art Education and has taught in secondary schools, technical colleges, Colleges of Advanced Education and Universities. For many years she has been a full time artist and director of the Griffith Studio and Graphic Workshop.
She Studied etching at The National Art School, 1964-1965. Commenced printing with her own equipment in 1966 and began printing the work of other artist’s in her purpose built workshop in 1976.
Pamela has exhibited paintings and prints in over 160 one woman and group exhibitions, a regular exhibitor at the Barry Stern Galleries and exhibited at Regional Galleries in Bathurst, Dubbo, Bundaberg, Hazelhurst, Grafton, Wagga Wagga and the La Perouse Museum. Pamela is represented in the National Gallery of Australia and in major public and private collections in Australia and overseas. Her public design projects include the historic Bicentennial, Macquarie and Mary MacKillop toiles, and the NSW State driver’s licence.
From the Mid 19th century the Painter-Etcher movement culminated in the 1920s. Prints were avidly collected and expensive.
By the beginning of the Second World War the bubble burst both internationally and in Australia. The Last Exhibition by the Australian Painter Etchers Society was in 1938.
Post World War 2 Printmaking fell mainly into the realm of commercial art courses and was aligned with illustration.
Mid 1950s, printmaking again becomes a recognized art form, both in Australia and Internationally.
European migration brought printmakers to Australia, passing on knowledge; and at the same time Australian artists produced prints in the UK and Europe; Sidney Nolan and Arthur Boyd, Thea Proctor and Ethel Spowers, among them.
1960 First Australia wide Graphic Arts Exhibition held by the Contemporary Art Society.
1963 Australian Print Survey Exhibition curated by the Art Gallery of NSW travelled the Australian states.
Thus began the printmaking revival in Australian Art. As an exuberant young art student, Pamela Griffith lobbied for the inclusion of printmaking in the subjects offered at the National Art School, East Sydney Technical College. That institution would become one of the most important nurturing art schools in Australia producing a considerable number of students going on to become some of this country’s finest artists.
Griffith’s love of, and confidence in, the creative possibilities of the medium, led her to establish her first studio. Then the desire to produce larger and more intricate prints saw her build a new studio complete with a larger press designed by the well-known HillDav Company’s Charles Hills and Pamela’s textile engineer husband, Ross. The new Griffith Studio and Graphic Workshop, fueled by Pamela’s love affair with printmaking, combined with her teaching gene, led to her providing a place and space for painters, other printmakers and artists. In the Griffith Studio and Graphic Workshop many artists produced unique works, benefiting from Griffith’s unbounded knowledge, experience and enthusiasm for all things print.
Over 700 editions (400 of those Pamela’s own) have been produced in the Griffith Studio. And the list of exceptional Australian Artists such as Tony Coleing, Pixie O’harris, Blake Twigden, Michael Klempson, Chris Gentle, Trevor Weeks, David Voigt, Salvatore Zofrea, David Boyd, Margaret Woodward, George Gittoes, Adam Cullen, Yannima Tommy Watson and Wendy Sharpe is long. These are just a few of the over 50 artists and printmakers that have absorbed knowledge and technique and thrived in the printmaking process and experience of the Griffith Studio.
Prints from the Griffith Studio brings to Bungendore Wood Works Gallery, the work of nine current and past artist/printmakers to exhibit for sale a series of Limited Edition prints produced in this physically small, yet massively influential, and culturally dynamic printmaking studio.
Lyn Burns, George Gittoes, Pamela Griffith, Greg Hansell, Bettina McMahon, Gina Monaco, Trevor Riach, Wendy Sharpe and Glenn Smith, the most recent cohort of artists, will exhibit prints produced in the Griffith Studio and Graphics Workshop.
Stan d’Argeavel MA(Visual Arts) Exhibition Coordinator
Studied part-time at St George Technical College from1975 to 1979, specialising in drawing and painting. He developed Earth Pastels as a drawing medium, made by hand from rocks and clays. His subject matter nearly always records history. The Tin Series exemplifies the examination of a particular surface, corrugated iron, reflecting its varied use, decay, and reuse over time.
In his studio using an antique bookbinders press and a 1873 Albion Press, he produces small editions of linoprint bookplates, greeting cards and general printmaking. His etchings printed at the Griffith Studio are worked up from ink drawings on clear film, reversed and photo transferred to the printing plate. He has been represented in numerous Wynne and Dobell Drawing exhibitions at the Art Gallery of NSW and is twice winner of the Mosman Art Prize. Greg teaches at the Royal Art Society.
Bettina graduated from Julian Ashton School of Art in 1949 and studied Advanced Etching at Morley College, Goldsmith College of Art, and London University, 1972. Bettina was Artist in Residence at, Cite Internationale des Artes Moya Dyring Studio in 1982 and 1987.
“The source and mainspring of my art and the use of images are mainly drawn from my love of animals, their pure beauty and power; and the myths of ancient Greece and Rome. She has travelled to classical sites throughout the Mediterranean to see history first hand.
Bettina has won numerous prizes for her works in drawing painting, and printmaking. She is represented throughout Australia in Regional Galleries, The National Gallery of Australia, Universities, Hospitals, Artbank, corporate and numerous private collections. Her work is also represented in collections in Singapore, Malaysia, Sweden, Germany, Brunei, USA and UK
Holds an Associate Diploma in Fine Arts, and Certificate in Painting, from St George Technical College, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking and Diploma of Teaching from COFA, UNSW.
Her teaching career included Secondary Schools, and Technical Colleges where she taught photography. While currently teaching in Public Education she would prefer to be making art.
She uses many mediums with a principal interest in painting, printmaking and photography, considering her style to be quite naïve, often using an intensely bright palette. Subjects include insects, cats, flowers, people and often portrays beauty and ugliness on the same page. Gina has exhibited her work in galleries and art spaces in and around Sydney, and has published “Mail Me Art” illustrations in 2009, “Tango Love and Food” illustrations and text 2009.
Trevor holds a BA (Visual Art) from the City Art Institute, first working with Artbank before becoming a printer at the Griffith Studio in 1984, working continuously to become the Studio’s Master Printer. Trevor has printed the work of many well-known artists, and in close association with Salvatore Zofrea in his studio: printing one woodblock suite, and two etching suites for the artist.
Trevor has had regular solo exhibitions since 1983 and exhibiting in group exhibitions since 1984. His mediums are watercolour and printmaking, with a preference for landscape. The Western District has been beautifully captured by his multiple plate colour etchings revealing his skill with colour printing and aquatint. His work is in the National Gallery of Australia and numerous corporate and private collections. Trevor has produced 66 editions of his own work in the Griffith Studio.
Wendy is one of Australia’s most awarded artists, winning the Sulman Prize, the Portia Geach Memorial Prize (twice), the Archibald Prize and numerous other awards and scholarships.
Major commissions include the Cook and Philip Park Aquatic Centre Mural and as Australian War Memorial Official War Artist in East Timor 1999-2000 (the first woman since World War II). She was twice Resident at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris, and the Australian Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. She had over 30 solo exhibitions and many important state and regional gallery touring survey shows.
Wendy’s 2011 SH Ervin Gallery’s major retrospective survey exhibition included the production of a documentary film and monograph. Her work is in state and regional galleries and important collections throughout Australia.
Glenn “Glenno” Smith
Holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from COFA, UNSW 1994, and has participated in 39 group and 5 solo exhibitions. Glenn curated four major exhibitions for the Orange Regional Gallery and curates for the Beach Burrito Company, Newtown, for established and up-and-coming artists.
He classifies himself as an art-mercenary, giving almost anything a go. He has worked in the vocational arts in screen-printing factories; designing for stonemasons; as well as many promotional companies.
Since 2005, Glen has freelanced, as an illustrator, for magazines, garment companies and publishers, and is well known for illustrations for punk and heavy metal bands, both in Australia and Internationally: drawing on his life-long immersion in the underground of comics, music and arts of the D.I.Y. scene.
Recently, his focus has shifted from satirical folk art to gallery standard art pieces, especially screen-printed posters and linocuts.