I'm passionate about art, poetry, the English language and all things maritime, and I also love drawing: https://touchpaperdrawingtips.wordpress.com/ Join the Fight for the Reef! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Postcards-for-the-Reef/997018917032291
Snap up an artistic bargain and support a worthy cause
Sun Bear, linocut by Kay Walker
For affordable pictures that are 100% supporting a great cause, there's nothing to compare with Urban Cow's latest exhibition of mini handmade prints. 'Bears and Blooms 2' is the second print exchange and exhibition organised by Bittondi Printmakers Association Inc as a fundraiser for the Free the Bears Fund. It is also featured in the Print Council's Year of the Print celebrations. There are over 50 pieces on display, comprising more than 20 prints from this year's print exchange and a number of prints from the previous exchange, plus a selection of other prints by members of the Bittondi Printmakers Association Inc.
Mary Pulford prints her Bear, a drypoint, onto a page from an old book - all about bears.
A print exchange is an arrangement between a number of printmakers, whereby they all undertake to produce an edition (in this case 10 prints) which is then divided up among the participants, so that everyone who takes part receives a selection of prints from the exchange.
This exchange, like last year's, is in aid of theFree the Bears fund, and the chief organiser of the exchange is Bittondi member, artist and printmaker Mary Pulford. All profits from sales will be donated to this deserving cause. At the opening on Sunday, guest speaker Pauline Cockrill from Free the Bears emphasised the continued importance of fundraising to rescue Sun Bears who are poached for the awful practice of keeping them in cages and milking their gall bladders for bile, which is used in traditional medicine.
Mary Pulford with Pauline Cockrill, guest speaker at Bears and Blooms
Other bears such as the Asiatic Black Bear, often called the Moon Bear, are also in imminent danger from bile merchants, and these bears are also threatened by the illegal wildlife trade and the restaurant trade, with bear paw soup considered a delicacy. Sloth bears of India were used as dancing bears for the tourist trade, until the last one was rescued by the Free the Bears Fund.
Asiatic Black Bear
Some of the printmakers in the exchange are students from Aberfoyle High School, and this is for most of them their first experience in producing a print for an exhibition. But I challenge you to guess which of these prints is by a school student. The overall quality of the works is outstanding.
'Flutterby', hand coloured linocut by Rachel Young
Each of these prints is for sale for a mere $85.00, and after commission all the money will go directly to Free the Bears.As you can see, the subject matter is varied: the theme was 'any endangered animal or plant'. Marine species and birds are also featured.
There are other framed works by Bittondi members, and if you are inspired by these prints to try printmaking for yourself, Bittondi Printmakers Association Inc runs regular print workshops at their studio at the Hub Shopping Centre in Aberfoyle Park. For more details visit their website and Facebook Page.
'Inside', linocut by Bittondi member Megan Debicki