Four are a charm at the FAC Print Award

This year the Fremantle Arts Centre reaches its 40th anniversary, marking a milestone as a front runner in the support and development of printmaking and artists’ books.


With four decades under the belt, it seems apt for the prize that four artists are awarded first place with their collaborative work Elastics / Borrocha / Elastico. Bringing to the print table a variety of dynamic skills, artists Fiona MacDonald, Narelle Jubelin, Madeira and Victor De Sousa were awarded $16,000 for their bold and striking work.

An Australian-led project, the work (facilitated by late curator Jennifer Phipps) delves into the history of Australia’s close regional neighbours. Inviting the viewer into an intimate view of Timorese culture, the print crosses cultural boundaries borrowing the title from the children’s game.

Bright and bold, the print is made up of various-sized coloured squares. However it is the collection of layered images depicting intimate portrayals of Timor-Leste culture.

The 2015 judging panel, consisting of Marian Crawford, Maurice O’Riordan and Gemma Weston, commended the group’s winning print for its collaborative nature.

“In this folio of 10 prints, the Timorese tais (traditional weaving) is presented as a form of resistance, resilience and artistic vernacular that identifies this newly formed democracy, and as an enduring symbol of social change,” the judges said.

Awarded second prize Western Australian artist Teelah George created a strikingly fragile work, Effect of Dose on Taste (New Phase), reworking a decade-old banner found abandoned on a wall in North Fremantle. Creating a painstakingly hand stitched canvas border, George alters the banner’s purpose presenting it in an art exhibition, challenging the value placed upon art objects.

“There is a sense of embodiment, the banner’s instability and fragility poignantly reminding us of our own mortality,” the judges said. “This found printed object questions legibility, conservation, fugitive ink, presence, and has become an exquisite, entrancing and ambivalent artefact.

“It has been plucked from a place where it had lost its value to be elevated and then returned to loss. This work explores the life cycle of the printed object and the temporal nature of a printed image.”

The judges also highly commended 1999 winner Raymond Arnold’s  intricate etching Elsewhere World (10th State), Virginia Fraser (VIC) and Elvis Richardson’s tongue-in-cheek feminist magazine cover FEMMO™ Issue 1, 2, 3., Emma Jolley’s (WA) lost, domestic dream Swim Swam Swum and Rebecca Shanahan’s ode to the book “from the series I had but could not keep”.

The exhibition of finalists is open to the public and runs until Sunday 15 November.


Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award
Until 15 November 2015

Fremantle Arts Centre

Image 1: Fiona-MacDonald, Narelle Jubelin, Victor De Sousa, Maria Madeira, Elastic / Borracha / Elastico, (2012 Timor Leste Mobile Residency Archive), 2014
Image 2: Teelah George, Effect of Dose on Taste (New-Phase), 2015, found vinyl banner, canvas, thread, photographic documentation, 197 x 400 x 4cm, 1 of 1

Courtesy the artists and Fremantle Arts Centre. 

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