Common Ground Print Prize Exhibition – 2022, April-May

Thursday 21 April – Sunday 15 May at Artpuff

 

www.artpuff.com.au

 

Opening celebration and prize announcement:
Friday 22 April 5 – 7pm

The winner – Lou Goggin’s ‘Ode to Ecklonia’ captured the important question posed by this prize of how we respond collectively to the environmental crisis. Ode to Ecklonia brings this challenge into our domestic realm by posing as wallpaper and challenging us to redesign the environments in which we live – actively reshaping our minds in an immersive world untouched by the human hand. Goggin asks us to think like this resilient seaweed calling forth biophilic design and reminding us that we separate ourselves from nature and her wisdom at our own peril. The attributes she calls forth from the seaweed ecology is to bend with the changing currents and give shelter to others – to be kind, but strong, flexible and fast acting.


Laura Osborne received a special mention from the judges ‘Osmosis’ offers us another vision also inspired by science and the natural world, taking solace in the powerful but invisible process of osmosis. The way she reflects through the abstract form on the ways that individually and collectively we take on each other’s views and visions offers an inspiring vision for overcoming what otherwise feels like a divisive and polarised time for humanity.

Both works are artistically strong and we congratulate the artists in melding form and message so beautifully.

Monica Oppen (Ant Press)- "Of Property of Nature " 2021
Monica Oppen (Ant Press)- "Of Property of Nature " 2021Letterpress relief intaglio collograph on rosapina
Monica Oppen (Ant Press) Of Property of Nature"2021Letterpress-relief-intaglio- collograph on rosapina

Monica Oppen

“Dealing with environmental issues is core to my bookarts practise. The core images in this book are extras from the edition made for the Warringah Print Studio collaborative project Natural Collections, looking at endangered species in the Northern Beaches area of Sydney.
The problems of species loss and habitat destruction are not specific to the Northern Beaches but Australia wide, world wide. In the text I draw the readers attention to the dire consequences of our actions as a cultural juggernaut. The work connects the local and the global.
The title of the work comes from the two quotes, included on the title page, one from John Locke (philosopher) and the other from Bernard Campbell (anthropologist), quoted by David Suzuki (scientist). Written more than 300 years apart they highlight a shift in thinking needed in our relationship to the planet and connection with Nature.

Monica Oppen (Ant Press)- "Of Property of Nature " 2021Letterpress relief intaglio collograph on rosapina
Monica Oppen (Ant Press) Of Property of Nature"2021Letterpress-relief-intaglio- collograph on rosapina

Monica Oppen

“Dealing with environmental issues is core to my bookarts practise. The core images in this book are extras from the edition made for the Warringah Print Studio collaborative project Natural Collections, looking at endangered species in the Northern Beaches area of Sydney.
The problems of species loss and habitat destruction are not specific to the Northern Beaches but Australia wide, world wide. In the text I draw the readers attention to the dire consequences of our actions as a cultural juggernaut. The work connects the local and the global.
The title of the work comes from the two quotes, included on the title page, one from John Locke (philosopher) and the other from Bernard Campbell (anthropologist), quoted by David Suzuki (scientist). Written more than 300 years apart they highlight a shift in thinking needed in our relationship to the planet and connection with Nature.

Elaine Camlin "Preserved Memories" 2022

Elaine Camlin

“The invention of the cyanotype enabled botanists to document discoveries in natural science from 1842. The influence of these traditions endures today and continues to be a source of documentation.

Our environment is in constant flux, and our connections to place cycles from deterioration, decay and new growth. Moments Preserved captures life’s fleeting moments and explores the nuances and intricacies of personal memories and reflections of place.

Each print harnesses the power of the sun to expose a series of ‘maps’ with soft transient imagery, subtle movement, and tonal variations embodying my curiosity and imaginings of moments past and present. Each figure floats in space, becoming preserved musings of sacred places that hold significance and a tranquil reminder of the uncertainty of our future.”

Elaine Camlin "Preserved Memories" 2022 Drypoint cyanotype on Fabriano

Wendy Habraken- Flack

“This work evolved out of the need to express trauma caused by the destruction of our waterbirds and the impact this has on the environment, it depicts the existence of nature and the constant struggle of evolution, the proclamation of the battle for survival.
Mankind’s sourcing of seafood has a subsidiary consequence relating to methods and materials used for capture, causing an affliction on nature. Although we mean them to be species specific, they also destroy those that rely on the same food source for their own survival, secondary death that we discard and ignore.
The use of Cyanotype, manipulated for subdued colour, captures sketchy silhouette shapes of manmade objects. Detailed dry point image of a dead bird printed over, illustrates supressed knowledge of the waning vestiges of secondary destruction and death mankind has on the species as an individual or as a genera.”

Jackie Gorring 'Asparagosis ' 2022stencil relief

Jackie Gorring

“I have chosen to print my images onto recycled, collapsed packaging and altered take away coffee cups as a fitting medium on which to work with the theme of climate change. I have researched and found a positive initiative to reduce greenhouse gases. This is in the form of turning asparagosis (seaweed) into livestock feed. Scientists have proven that feeding this to livestock significantly reduces methane. So less burps and farts is one way to slow down climate change.”

Jackie Gorring - Asparagosis " 2022 stencil relief

Jackie Gorring

“I have chosen to print my images onto recycled, collapsed packaging and altered take away coffee cups as a fitting medium on which to work with the theme of climate change. I have researched and found a positive initiative to reduce greenhouse gases. This is in the form of turning asparagosis (seaweed) into livestock feed. Scientists have proven that feeding this to livestock significantly reduces methane. So less burps and farts is one way to slow down climate change.”

Jackie Gorring- Asparagosis" 2022 stencil relief

Jackie Gorring

“I have chosen to print my images onto recycled, collapsed packaging and altered take away coffee cups as a fitting medium on which to work with the theme of climate change. I have researched and found a positive initiative to reduce greenhouse gases. This is in the form of turning asparagosis (seaweed) into livestock feed. Scientists have proven that feeding this to livestock significantly reduces methane. So less burps and farts is one way to slow down climate change.”

Lou Goggin - "Ode to Ecklonia" 2021 full wallpaper

Lou Goggin ( Winner)

“Wallpapers decorate our dwellings, changing how we feel about a space.

I printed my wallpaper to change how we feel about the stubborn seaweed Ecklonia radiata; to celebrate life on our planet, and as a prayer for its survival.

Ecklonia has existed longer than humans. The way it has survived can teach us how we could act together to build a future. Like Ecklonia, we need to hold fast to something – a common vision – through these turbulent times. We need to lift ourselves out of inaction and bend with changing currents while giving shelter to others.

And like seaweeds, we need to pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere so our planet doesn’t get too hot.

So much to celebrate. Much more to lose.”

 

Steven Giese "Biorhythm" 2022 Linocut

Steven Giese

“This slithering stamp asserts our obligation to promote and support ecological processes. When the Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess asserted that Nature has a right to exist independent to its usefulness to humanity, He articulated something many indigenous cultures already knew. Most life forms are suggested in this image; vertebrates and invertebrates, things that inhabit the air, the sea and things that walk on the land. Its composition is both symmetrical and dynamic, the way our ecology should be. While “Biodiversity an Ethical Imperative” is a phrase that leaves little room for compromise, Its time for didactic assertions on this subject, almost all indicators of ecological health have reached “code brown”.”

Lesley Duxbury - A walk in the redeem forest" 2021 Archival inkjet print on watercolour paper silk wallpaper brass button linen twine

Lesley Duxbury

“While it has long been known that forests are the most efficient way to sequester carbon, and planting trees a strategy to combat climate change, there is strong scientific evidence that walking among trees can improve mood and enhance psychological stress recovery, and two or three short visits a week can dramatically improve mental health. In Japan, Shinrin-yoku (walking and/or staying in forests in order to promote health) is a major form of relaxation. At the end of each day I walk for an hour in the Redgum forest of Briagolong, a critically endangered woodland of Eucalyptus tereticornis mediana, following its narrow winding tracks and marvelling at the changing seasonal show of flowers and grasses – swathes of purple chocolate lilies one month, yellow everlastings the next. Each walk is different – different weather, different birds and wildlife; each walk a life-affirming experience, inspiring hope for a sustainable future.”

Lesley Duxbury - A walk in the redeem forest" 2021 Archival inkjet print on watercolour paper silk wallpaper brass button linen twine

Lesley Duxbury

“While it has long been known that forests are the most efficient way to sequester carbon, and planting trees a strategy to combat climate change, there is strong scientific evidence that walking among trees can improve mood and enhance psychological stress recovery, and two or three short visits a week can dramatically improve mental health. In Japan, Shinrin-yoku (walking and/or staying in forests in order to promote health) is a major form of relaxation. At the end of each day I walk for an hour in the Redgum forest of Briagolong, a critically endangered woodland of Eucalyptus tereticornis mediana, following its narrow winding tracks and marvelling at the changing seasonal show of flowers and grasses – swathes of purple chocolate lilies one month, yellow everlastings the next. Each walk is different – different weather, different birds and wildlife; each walk a life-affirming experience, inspiring hope for a sustainable future.”

Lesley Duxbury - A walk in the redeem forest" 2021 Archival inkjet print on watercolour paper silk wallpaper brass button linen twine

Lesley Duxbury

“While it has long been known that forests are the most efficient way to sequester carbon, and planting trees a strategy to combat climate change, there is strong scientific evidence that walking among trees can improve mood and enhance psychological stress recovery, and two or three short visits a week can dramatically improve mental health. In Japan, Shinrin-yoku (walking and/or staying in forests in order to promote health) is a major form of relaxation. At the end of each day I walk for an hour in the Redgum forest of Briagolong, a critically endangered woodland of Eucalyptus tereticornis mediana, following its narrow winding tracks and marvelling at the changing seasonal show of flowers and grasses – swathes of purple chocolate lilies one month, yellow everlastings the next. Each walk is different – different weather, different birds and wildlife; each walk a life-affirming experience, inspiring hope for a sustainable future.”

Chrisanne Blennerhassett - "The Dance of the Turning "2022

Chrisanne Blennerhassett

“A paradigm shift is stirring, blooming, a collective conscience travels virus like, globally to shift our gaze from commodification to reverence.

Standing in this portal of transition we bear witness to the winds of change slowly unravelling and eroding the imperial system.

The great Turning spills light onto a brave new world, listening deepens and a unifying knowledge pervades that there is no distinction between human and earth.

The ground is no longer just a GPS point, a surface to be raped for resources, but a sacred and inseparable part of ourselves, to be honoured and revered as we move collectively toward a sustainable future.”

Chrisanne Blennerhassett - "The Dance of the Turning "2022

Chrisanne Blennerhassett

“A paradigm shift is stirring, blooming, a collective conscience travels virus like, globally to shift our gaze from commodification to reverence.

Standing in this portal of transition we bear witness to the winds of change slowly unravelling and eroding the imperial system.

The great Turning spills light onto a brave new world, listening deepens and a unifying knowledge pervades that there is no distinction between human and earth.

The ground is no longer just a GPS point, a surface to be raped for resources, but a sacred and inseparable part of ourselves, to be honoured and revered as we move collectively toward a sustainable future.”

Chrisanne Blennerhassett - "The Dance of the Turning "2022

Chrisanne Blennerhassett

“A paradigm shift is stirring, blooming, a collective conscience travels virus like, globally to shift our gaze from commodification to reverence.

Standing in this portal of transition we bear witness to the winds of change slowly unravelling and eroding the imperial system.

The great Turning spills light onto a brave new world, listening deepens and a unifying knowledge pervades that there is no distinction between human and earth.

The ground is no longer just a GPS point, a surface to be raped for resources, but a sacred and inseparable part of ourselves, to be honoured and revered as we move collectively toward a sustainable future.”

Kim Barter Dry River Bed Artist book

Kim Barter

“My book of prints, Common Ground
Represents the natural world.
Made from recycled cardboard and printed on papers from an array of printing plates. Thirty loose pages with abstract imagery suggestive of soil, sky,clouds, rain, wind,and wildlife tracks.
A slow turning of pages, required.

I recently read Peter Wohlleben s book
The Hidden Life of Trees.
I learnt about forest Etiquette, there water and carbon storage systems,
Their care for their community.
There purpose is to grow slowly.

I wondered if we understood the natural world better,
Would we care and nurture it more
Would we look and learn from the trees.”

Kim Barter Common Ground 2022 Artist book

Kim Barter

“My book of prints, Common Ground
Represents the natural world.
Made from recycled cardboard and printed on papers from an array of printing plates. Thirty loose pages with abstract imagery suggestive of soil, sky,clouds, rain, wind,and wildlife tracks.
A slow turning of pages, required.

I recently read Peter Wohlleben s book
The Hidden Life of Trees.
I learnt about forest Etiquette, there water and carbon storage systems,
Their care for their community.
There purpose is to grow slowly.

I wondered if we understood the natural world better,
Would we care and nurture it more
Would we look and learn from the trees.”

Kim Barter Common Ground 2022 Artist book

Kim Barter

“My book of prints, Common Ground
Represents the natural world.
Made from recycled cardboard and printed on papers from an array of printing plates. Thirty loose pages with abstract imagery suggestive of soil, sky,clouds, rain, wind,and wildlife tracks.
A slow turning of pages, required.

I recently read Peter Wohlleben s book
The Hidden Life of Trees.
I learnt about forest Etiquette, there water and carbon storage systems,
Their care for their community.
There purpose is to grow slowly.

I wondered if we understood the natural world better,
Would we care and nurture it more
Would we look and learn from the trees.”

Cleo Wilkinson - "Unified" 2018 Mezzotint on BFK Rives paper

Cleo Wilkinson

“Trees exhale for us so that we can inhale them to stay alive. Can we ever forget that? Let us love trees with every breath we take until we perish”― Munia Khan

“Unified “ Mezzotint Print – is an attempt to capture the intimate relationship humans have with trees and their enduring power and inspiration . They are not only a vital source of food , shelter , oxygen , cooling , clean our water , sustain the life of birds and wildlife . They also are a source of grace , beauty, poetry, and wisdom to our collective soul . Inspiring hope and commitment to the future every time each one is planted .

The Mezzotint Print technique and tools have largely remained unchanged for the last 300 years. The process achieves tonality by roughening the metal plate with a rocker.” www.cleosart.com

 

“I have addressed the power of common action and collective voice through the remarkable story of the Wollemi pine, the rarest and oldest living plant from the time of the Dinosaurs. Wollemia nobilis was discovered in 1994 in deep canyons in the Wollemi National Park in NSW. Through collective efforts Wollemia nobilis is listed as an endangered species and has been given special protected status. Soon after its discovery, intense efforts lead to its successful propagation and Wollemia nobilis is now distributed throughout the world. During the 2019/2020 Gospers Mountain mega blaze it was the action of dedicated people that saved Wollemia nobilis from extinction in the wild.
My intaglio print combines an image of a charred tree trunk, to symbolise the mega blaze on Gospers Mountain, with an image of new growth on Wollemia nobilis, to symbolise the inspiring hope generated from its survival.”

Hilary Warren- Wollemi" 2022 Intaglio

Hilary Warren

“I have addressed the power of common action and collective voice through the remarkable story of the Wollemi pine, the rarest and oldest living plant from the time of the Dinosaurs. Wollemia nobilis was discovered in 1994 in deep canyons in the Wollemi National Park in NSW. Through collective efforts Wollemia nobilis is listed as an endangered species and has been given special protected status. Soon after its discovery, intense efforts lead to its successful propagation and Wollemia nobilis is now distributed throughout the world. During the 2019/2020 Gospers Mountain mega blaze it was the action of dedicated people that saved Wollemia nobilis from extinction in the wild.
My intaglio print combines an image of a charred tree trunk, to symbolise the mega blaze on Gospers Mountain, with an image of new growth on Wollemia nobilis, to symbolise the inspiring hope generated from its survival.”

Ruth Thompson - "Remnant Community " 2018 Lino and stencil on BFK

Ruth Thompson

“This work celebrates Pittwater Spotted Gums and their local communities. Often reaching 20-30 metres tall, their clusters of fragrant white flowers provide abundant nectar for honeyeaters, lorikeets, possums and gliders. Tree hollows and forest groundcover provide homes for native animals and insects indigenous to the locality, such as the Long-nosed Bandicoot.

The forest is listed as an Endangered Ecological Community. With over 70% of the forest found on private land, private property owners play an essential role in preserving remnant bushland for the survival of many native animals, birds and insects.

Passionate locals, like Pittwater Bush Regeneration and the West Pittwater Community Association, build community pride and stewardship of this beautiful coastal environment. They are a lifeline for our remnant forest communities. Through collective actions we help regenerate degraded habitats, ‘speak with one voice’ to all levels of government, and educate future generations about custodianship of the land.”

Anna Russell 'On Power "2022

Anna Russell

“It’s a long way out of the woods, but there’s no option but to follow the light.
The text comes from a placard held by an XR Rebel in the UK. Acknowledgements to the unknown author and the editor of the December Extinction Rebellion NSW newsletter.”

Anna Russell- "Beyond the Pale" 2022

Anna Russell

“Climate activism has been beyond the pale for those consumed by Business as Usual, but times are changing and initiatives pop up in widening circles. As the evidence becomes undeniable, the movement is rising.

Stages of engagement are suggested through embossing, printing and translucent collage.”

Marie Mason - "Out of the Tunnel"

Marie Mason

“The design for “Out of the Tunnel” was based on a road near where I live. The Tunnel is the coming out of Covid and into the light of hope. The strong contrasts between the light and dark of a tree tunnel is confusing, like lock downs during the pandemic. We are all relived to see the light at the end of the Covid and street tunnel.”

Steven Giese 'Apology to Animals" 2022 Monoprint

Steven Giese

“This print embodies two powerful messages crucial to the environmental crisis. The first one refers to humanity’s relationship to our fellow animals. We really need to think about and reassess what we have done in terms of habitat destruction, species extinction, road kill, domestic and agricultural animals and so on. Its a big philosophical and spiritual issue….we owe them an apology and need to rethink our interspecies relationships.

The second idea in this simple image refers to greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere. The kangaroo offers the human figure the most effective machine for extracting carbon from the atmosphere; a tree. I’m yet to hear any politician advocating a massive replanting of trees on our continent. This would have great potential for ecological and economic benefit.

They are both big but simple ideas expressed in the delightful medium of monoprint.”

Vanessa Curley - Biodiversity" 2021 Linocut chincolle on Stonehenge

Vanessa Curley

“This print began its journey during the initial lockdowns of 2020, the overall theme was looking at the balance between urban green developments and conservation. The vision was inspired by the recent boom industry of insect houses, I find them completely tactile and beautiful collectable items. After following a logging truck down the highway I mentioned to my husband this looks like a massive native insect house right in front of us, left with feeling like the bigger contribution should be regeneration and saving actual natural habitats for everyone. So the insect house sub-division was born, the background layer is the embossed street layout with a pinpricked tree running through it like a memory of what once was there. The top layer loosely based on a tree shape is the housing boom.”

Fiona Davey - Regeneration 2022

Fiona Davey

“Regeneration is an idealised and optimistic expression of the landscape in which we live. Made from plates marked by the natural habitat the print represents the hope that change and action in our society can foster a healthier planet. The layers of various greens and browns fill the print to the brim reflecting the luscious and wild nature of a thriving ecosystem devoid of the pollution we have forced onto the Earth.”

Laura Osborne Osmosis 2019

Laura Osborne ( Special mention)

“Osmosis, by definition is ‘the process of gradual and unconscious assimilation of ideas and knowledge.’ This process of a gradual awakening is happening now, the people of planet Earth are beginning to realize that their way of living and consuming is no longer sustainable in the long term. Each person can focus, firstly, on an individual level and then on a collective level to gradually change the mind set of the population. I feel optimistic that this is occurring now and will snowball into real change for the better.”

 

Laura Osborne "Osmosis " 2019
Laura Osborne "Osmosis " 2019

Laura Osborne

“Osmosis, by definition is ‘the process of gradual and unconscious assimilation of ideas and knowledge.’ This process of a gradual awakening is happening now, the people of planet Earth are beginning to realize that their way of living and consuming is no longer sustainable in the long term. Each person can focus, firstly, on an individual level and then on a collective level to gradually change the mind set of the population. I feel optimistic that this is occurring now and will snowball into real change for the better.”

 

 

Laura Osborne "Osmosis " 2019
Laura Osborne "Osmosis " 2019

Laura Osborne

“Osmosis, by definition is ‘the process of gradual and unconscious assimilation of ideas and knowledge.’ This process of a gradual awakening is happening now, the people of planet Earth are beginning to realize that their way of living and consuming is no longer sustainable in the long term. Each person can focus, firstly, on an individual level and then on a collective level to gradually change the mind set of the population. I feel optimistic that this is occurring now and will snowball into real change for the better.”

 

 

Caroline Smyrk "Re- Generation" 2022 Drypoint Etching on Hannemuhle-paper

Caroline Smyrk

“I created this art work with the Common Ground catch phrases in mind ie Optimism, Action and Common purpose. Much of my work revolves around my immediate natural environment, the native flora and fauna, so I am continually thinking about how we can preserve it for future generations. I am presently teaching my young grandson about the natural environment through planting and watching plants grow. So I optimistically believe that the regeneration and maintenance of a healthy planet will be taken up by generations after us if we collectively teach them about the damage some of our practices ( eg coal fired power) have caused and look to renewable energy and re forestation.
I also believe that as artists, we can help to influence others to think about how we can work together and take action to restore our planet.”

Molly Rule "Invisible landscapes beneath our feet" 2022
Molly Rule "Invisible landscapes beneath our feet" 2022 White etching ink on hand made recycled cotton paper

Molly Rule

“The profound yet hidden world of fungi communication underpins this print series.

Using line as a mode of communication that echoes the mycelium networks underground the image becomes a potent metaphor for the reconnection and resilience of humans and nature. The subtle hand made papers and quiet white ink ask us to pause and look deeply at the beauty of the natural world and wonder at the mysteries we are yet to comprehend of the Plantae and Fungi kingdoms.”