Timor-Leste, Bali and West Papua Project

First conceived in Spring 2013, the pilot print project with Timorese and West papuan communities in Kulin Biik/Melbourne was created to gauge interest amongst newly arrived/refugee communities to Australia's north. The first phase of the project ran successfully from May-August 2014.

Two artists undertook this project with printmaker Sean Smith on Fridays and Saturdays in May-July: Chico dos Santos from Timor-Leste and Artur Brotolaras from Bali, Java and Mi'kmaq First Nation. Both first-time artists have been exceedingly motivated to create high quality etchings and relief woodblock prints in the month-long pilot project. Their interactions and energy with printmakers Sean Smith, Kylie Blackley and Gallery Coordinator Léuli Eshraghi, as well as resident artists Helen Sheferaw and Roxana Fuentes have been very positive. From August, first-time artist Amos Wainggai from West papua joined the project, working on etchings.

Artists Artur Brotolaras, Chico dos Santos and Amos Wainggai continued into the second phase of the project from late 2014 into August 2015, focussing on edition print training, with printmaker Sean Smith. 

Finding the Minority Voice in Art, a feature article on the artists and the project, was published in Peril, an Asian Australian arts magazine by writer Jarni Blakkerly.

Marking the successful completion of a suite of new woodblock prints and etchings, My Country takes place in August-September 2015 in the Craft Cubed Festival.

Photos: Léuli Eshraghi, Sean Smith and Rachel McLaren 2014.