Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Collaborative Screen-Printing Project '96-'97 (Part 1)

'Tropical Inspirations' 1996-97
Medium - Fabric Paint
Support - Cotton Sateen Fabric
Technique - Hand screen-printed imagery using several stencil techniques & designs
i.e. Combination of paper stencil, photographic and wax screen designs.
Height 1200 mm x Width 2000 mm


First half of 1996 I had attended 2 (10 x 3hr per week) Screen Printing Tuesday night courses at the new Screen Printing Studio (converted from an old tractor shed) located at the new developing Tanks Art Centre site, EdgeHill, Cairns. Rae O'Connell was the then newly employed coordinator/screen-printing instructor of the Studio by Cairns City Council.  Rae had moved from Darwin where she had been operating her own successful textile design and screen-printing business. 

Even though it was a long one hour plus drive from Innisfail to Cairns in the evening and then back again, (5 hours all up round total incl.class) I successfully went for two terms because I felt there was much more to learn and skills to develop even though the tutor Rae only covered and delivered the same basic level techniques each time.  Having access to the equipment and the large printing table allowed me to produce designs for final individual products.

Applying for a RADF Project Grant
Eager to go another level, in the latter of 1996 I instigated and applied for a Regional Art Development Funded (RADF) project grant from the then Johnstone Shire Council and was successful. It involved employing Rae as the professional tutor and getting local community workshop participants to learn and apply screenprinting techniques and designs to a collaborative site specific artwork at Good Counsel College (GCC), Innisfail, Far North Queensland.

I both coordinated and participated in the 6 x 2 days (weekends) screenprinting workshops, five of which were held at the Art room, GCC, Innisfail and the other to access equipment at the Screen-Printing Studio, Tanks Art Centre in Cairns. These were conducted during the months of October through to December, 1996.

Design Briefing
There was the initial design brief and concept process between the school principal, overseer tutor Rae O'Connell and participants. My overall concept design was chosen and the hard work commenced. It took approximately another 6 weeks after the workshops, by myself during the school holiday time, to finish off all sections and resolve the border for its final completion.

Eventual Hanging
The large screenprinted fabric was sent to a prof. framer in Cairns to be stretched, framed (without glass) with a rounded white lacquered profile moulding. Eventually it gets hung in the school's administration block but is later on removed to make way for a large official school wooden plaque of names!  After some time sadly neglected in the admin's 'storage room', the school's Librian takes charge and makes claim to hanging Tropical Inspirations proudly in the Library's teaching room area where it can still be viewed today by the school's many students and teachers.

Tropical Inspirations ~ Detail Section (1)
Tropical Inspirations ~ Detail Section (1)

 Tropical Inspirations ~ Detail Section (2)
Tropical Inspirations ~ Detail Section (2)

*Note ~ I have documentary photos of the RADF project in progress but at the present time I don't the time to scan and load up some of these images for showing due to shop work commitments.

(To be continued at a later date...)


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