Upside-Up is a project that nurtured emerging Indigenous artists in our region. InkMasters Cairns delivered the 34-week program over 2021, providing access to InkMasters Print Workshop facilities, studio time, and tailored mentoring in printmaking as a visual artform that offers future creative career opportunities.
The three Upside Up project mentors – Hannah Parker, Theo Tremblay and Justin Majid – have fostered skills and artistic capacity in a fully equipped professional studio. The artists have learned studio operations and aspects of business practice while finding new ways to tell their own stories in the preparation of new works for exhibition. They have gained a strong basis from which to launch rewarding independent artistic practices.
Printmaking is a signature discipline of well-known Australian Indigenous contemporary artists. Many of our regional artists, including graduates from the TAFE ATSI program, have demonstrated a strong desire to articulate themselves through visual arts, but beyond formal study they lack access to art-making facilities that will enable them to further their practices. The Upside Up project was designed to provide that access and the opportunity to refine and expand skills in a full range of printmaking media (relief printing, drypoint, etching, screen-printing, monotype and lithography) in a professional, collaborative environment. The original fine-art prints on display here are the outcome of the innovative project.
InkMasters, a not-for-profit community-based organisation, has benefited from nurturance of an expanded base of experienced printmaking artists in our region. This project was made possible by the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund which supports the arts in regional and remote Australia.