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Aquatint, Etching, Silkscreen


Loose pages




Cicada Press

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Harvard University Art Museums

A unique print set of 10 prints that offers a generous spectrum of artmaking from diverse Aboriginal communities from Australia ranging from ‘traditional’ to international art genres and all combinations thereof. Curated by Michael Kempson the acclaimed director of the University of New South Wales’ Cicada Press in Sydney the “Mob” has a focus on the sophisticated critical voices and aesthetics of the Australian printmaking world. All the prints were produced at Cicada Press one of the most respected and prolific public presses in Australia well known for both its international and local community programs. (Single prints are also available.)

1. Vernon Ah Kee
let’s be polite about aboriginal art
2012, ($1,200.00)
31 x 32 cm

2. Vernon Ah Kee
Will I Live
2012, ($1,200.00)
31 x 32 cm

Multi-disciplinary artist Vernon Ah Kee was born in 1967 in far North Queensland and is of the Kuku Yalandji, Waanji, Yidindji, and Gugu Yimithirr peoples. Ah Kee’s first solo exhibition, If I was White was in March 1999, and in 2004 he co-founded Brisbane-based Aboriginal artists co-operative ProppaNow. His practice, shifting between text-based work and portraits, featured in Culture Warriors, the inaugural National Indigenous Art Triennial held at the National Gallery of Australia in 2007/2008.  Vernon Ah Kee makes art within a global discourse of critical and political, conceptual art, however, his work is also about the clash between competing histories and languages, and between white and black claims to the Australian identity. In an interview with ABC journalist Daniel Browning for Artlines (2-2007) Ah Kee says that his portraits are “an attempt to revision the Aborigine as a beautiful and worthy subject full of depth and complexity.” Ah Kee was selected for Revolution – Forms That Turn, the 2008 Biennale of Sydney, and was also a contributor for the exhibition Once Removed at the 53rd Venice Biennale of Art, Venice, Italy (2010).

3. Tony Albert
2015, ($900.00)
Etching and aquatint
21 x 21 cm

4. Tony Albert
2015, ($900.00)
Etching and aquatint
21 x 21 cm

Born 1981, Townsville, QLD, Tony Albert’s art practice interrogates contemporary legacies of colonialism in a way that prompts the audience to contemplate elemental aspects of the human condition and representations of the ‘outsider.’ Albert’s technique is distinctly contemporary, displacing traditional Australian Aboriginal aesthetics with a kind of urban conceptuality. Weaving together text appropriated from popular music, film, fiction, and art history, along with clichéd images of extraterrestrials, photographs of his family in Lucha Libre, and an immense collection of “Aboriginalia” (a term the artist coined to describe kitschy objects and images that feature naive portrayals of Aboriginality), the artist presents a tapestry of ideas that makes us question the flimsy line that inscribes and ascribes ‘difference.’  He was also included in the 10th Biennial of Havana, Cuba, and the 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Dark Heart. In 2014 he won both the $100,000 Basil Sellers Art Prize and the prestigious $50,000 Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award. He is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, and Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art—Queensland Art Gallery.

5. Vic Chapman
2014, ($600.00)
Etching and aquatint
35 cm diameter

“‘Currawillinghi’ is the name of one of several out-stations owned by Major G.M. Richmond who lived on Mogila Station approximately 10 km from Goodooga, NSW. It was an extension of the Haddon Rig Merino Stud properties and was managed by my father for several years from around 1910 to the 1940s. The station is near the small town of Hebel, QLD, itself about six kilometers from the QLD-NSW border. It takes its name from the language spoken by the Yuwaalaraay people whose ‘ngurrambaa’ or traditional country it was and is still. ‘Curroo wirringah’ translates ‘women forbidden,’ for this was a place for the initiation of young men. The present entry to ‘Currawillinghi’ was the site of a ‘boorah’, which the new settlers subsequently turned into a racecourse.
As ‘ngurrambaa’ this place is of great significance to me and to my family. ‘Ngurrambaa’ is where one’s spirit comes into the world and with proper ceremony, it exits. It is where my grandfather was born circ. 1850, where my father was born in 1875, where I was born in 1932, and where most of my fourteen siblings were born. ‘Ngurrambaa’ is inherited through the father so it was the special place for my two sons whose remains were returned there when those awful days came.” – Vic Chapman

6. Louise Daniels
Gone Hunting Bush Trip
2015, ($800.00)
Etching and aquatint
25 x 29 cm

Louise Daniels was born in 1978 at Alice Springs, but grew up at Laramba Community, northeast of Alice Springs. This is her mother’s country. Her uncle taught her to paint, along with her grandmother, the renowned late Kitty Pultara. Louise has painted at Laramba, selling her paintings at the Laramba and Tilmouth Well shops. She has three children of school age and now lives in Alice Springs, together with her extended family. In the past, Louise has painted dot paintings of bush tucker and other Women’s Tjukurrpa (Dreaming). Her technique is exacting and her work is always meticulously executed. In 2011 she began to make beautiful earrings from bottle tops that she and her children collected and hammered out, then Louise and her cousins and aunts sat down and painted them, each pair becoming exquisite miniature works of Aboriginal art. During this innovative period, Louise also began exploring social issues that are important to her through her painting. Adopting textual and figurative elements, she paints her aspirations for herself, her family, and the wider Aboriginal community, such as improving diet, health, and wellbeing. This shift in the style and content of her paintings is a sign of her growing confidence as an artist, as she seeks to communicate her aspirations and her wisdom to her audience. More recently she has begun painting stories about the sporting events taking place in Alice Springs, spurred on by her boys’ involvement in local football and baseball matches. Her intricate illustrative style is rich in humor, exquisite detail, and showcases her animated story-telling abilities. In March 2015 Louise was selected to join 5 other emerging Central Australian artists for a 2-week intensive university-level residency in printmaking techniques at Cicada Press NIEA, UNSW Art & Design, Sydney.

7. Abdullah M I Syed
War on Terror from Buzzwords I – VII
2009, ($600.00)
Photo-etching, aquatint, and color roll
18 x 18 x 18 cm (hexagonal)

Born 1974, in Karachi, Pakistan, Abdullah M.I. Syed presently works between Karachi and Sydney, Australia. Syed’s artwork utilizes a variety of mediums and techniques to communicate complex political ideas. This includes photography print, sculpture, performance, and installation using the shadow play produced with dollar bills and razor blades. His political commentary tackles controversial topics such as the War on Terror, immigration, and Western attitudes towards the East. He participated in the Britto artists’ workshop and an artist residency at Cicada Press, UNSW Art & Design. He has also co-curated exhibitions, notably Michael Esson: A Survey of Drawing, Michael Kempson: A Survey of Prints, Aboriginal Dreams and Let’s Draw the Line in Karachi, Pakistan. As a designer, he co-coordinated the Design Department at the University of Karachi as well as lectured there and at UCO in the United States. He is currently completing his Ph. D at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney, Australia.
Abdullah Syed referenced comments by US President George W Bush, linking Islam to a cell of bees. He combined the visual metaphors of apiaries with the clichéd slogans of recent conflict in Asia and the Middle East to produce the multiple plate etching series Buzzwords in 2009 that highlight the contradictions and hypocrisies of the political barriers, social protocols, and economic challenges confronting Muslims living in the West.

8. Chris O’Doherty aka Reg Mombassa
2011, ($800.00)
Etching and aquatint
31 x 26 cm

Born in New Zealand in 1951, Chris O’Doherty immigrated to Australia with his family in 1969. A graduate from Alexander Mackie CAE (now UNSW Art & Design) in 1977, he worked as an artist, designer, and musician, excelling to such an extent that he has made an indelible contribution to the Australian national consciousness. In 1976 he gave himself the stage name Reg Mombassa as a founding member of the rock band Mental as Anything and, in 1991, he formed Dog Trumpet with his brother Peter O’Doherty. He has worked closely with Mambo Graphics since 1986 designing t-shirts and posters, and his art practice, dealing with the big issues of religion and sex, the environment, and politics, has taken the rich English tradition of social satire, mixed in a little Antipodean disrespect for institutions, to produce distinctive images of the Australian vernacular. In November 2003 he had the honor of being invited to open the Colin McCahon retrospective “A Question of Faith” at the NSW Art Gallery. His artwork is included in the permanent collections of The National Art Gallery, Canberra; Art Gallery of New South Wales; Powerhouse Museum; and University of Sydney Union.

9. Brett Nannup
2012, ($1,000)
Etching, open-bite, aquatint, and surface roll
37 x 50 cm

Brett Nannup was born in 1975 in Perth, Western Australia. He belongs to the Binjareb and Wilman Clans of the Noongar Nation. Brett is a printmaker who was introduced and trained in the medium by his mother, the respected Western Australian artist Laurel Nannup. The core focus of his work investigates and interrogates the ideas of what it takes to be a ‘man’ in today’s society, as well as, exploring his own identity and place in the duality of the Noongar and Wadjella worlds. Nannup has attended two Aboriginal Print Workshops at Cicada Press in 2012 and 2013 with the outcomes being curated into exhibitions that include: Kaouwi Kauowi: Contemporary Aboriginal Printmaking from Australia at Kahnawake, Mohawk Territory Cultural Centre in Montreal, Canada (2012); Black Prints from Cicada Press, curated by Tess Allas, at the Kluge-Ruhe Art Collection of the University of Virginia, University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA (2012); and Gamarada at the Burrinja Aboriginal Centre in Upwey, VIC (2013). Brett Nannup was won the 2012 ‘Noongar country’ BHP Billiton Alumina Acquisitive Art Award, in addition to, the 2007 Katanning art award and the 2007 Printmakers Association of Western Australia Award.

10. Raymond Zada
A Little Sorry
2015, ($800.00)
Relief etching
41 x 29 cm

Raymond Zada is an Adelaide‐based emerging visual artist working primarily with photography, video, and digital design. He’s also an award‐winning radio broadcaster with 13 years experience in production, presentation, and technical operation. In 2013, Raymond won the New Media category of the 30th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award for his piece, Sorry. Sorry examines the complexities of Australian history and the disconnect between language and reality. In 2012, Raymond won the Works on Paper category of the 29th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award for his piece, racebook. An edition of 10, racebook has been acquired by several public galleries in Australia and overseas as well as private collections. In 2010, Raymond was a writer, producer, and performer in OutBlak Adventures. The show toured regional South Australia and explored themes of family and sexuality. This confronting, educational, and emotionally engaging production won a Ruby Award for Community Impact Under $100,000. Born in Adelaide in 1971, Raymond grew up in Port Augusta and Marree, South Australia. He is Aboriginal, with Afghan and Scottish heritage.