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Bears and Blooms Print Exchange at Red Poles

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by Julia Wakefield (subscribe)
I'm passionate about art, poetry, the English language and all things maritime, and I also love drawing: Join the Fight for the Reef!
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handmade prints, extinction, conservation, art, exhibitions
Some of the prints from Bears and Blooms

There seems to be a lot of interest in printmaking in Adelaide at the moment, and here are some very good reasons.

1. Handmade prints are far more affordable than original paintings, but also much more original than the commercial prints that you can buy by the yard from furniture shops.

2. Printmakers are friendly people who like engaging with the world, so their work reflects their personalities, and often employs amusing social commentary.

handmade prints, extinction, conservation, art, exhibitions
Snowbear, collagraph by Bodil Creasey

3. Some printmakers love exploring weird and wonderful techniques, which make their work exciting and intriguing.

4. Other printmakers are just amazingly good at a technique that requires hours of concentration, and when you learn how long it takes them to produce each print, it puts your own hasty lifestyle into staggering perspective.

handmade prints, extinction, conservation, art, exhibitions
Lost in Sumatran Paradise by Chandler Feddern

5. And of course, printmakers are human beings just like you and me, including some talented school students!

Twenty one Aberfoyle High School students are exhibiting at Red Poles in Bittondi Printmakers' Association's Bears and Blooms Print Exchange. They have responded impressively to the enthusiasm and eminent skills of their art teacher, Mrs. Toop. But they are also privileged to have Bittondi Printmakers' Association working on their doorstep, and it was Bittondi's Mary Pulford who had the idea of inviting the school to be involved in the exchange.

handmade prints, extinction, conservation, art, exhibitions
Tassie Devil, detail of linocut by Mary Pulford

Mary says: "Printmakers were invited to contribute an edition of ten prints with the theme Bears and Blooms: Postcards from the edge of extinction, documenting rare, endangered or extinct flora and fauna. The Printmakers who have responded to this theme were limited only by the size of the paper, which had to be postcard size, their imaginations and their ingenuity of manipulating traditional print-based mediums".
handmade prints, extinction, conservation, art, exhibitions
Green Sea Turtle by Nicole Green

The prints for sale at the exhibition have been donated by their makers, so that all profits from the exhibition will go to the Free the Bears fund. The main focus for this fund in recent years has been the plight of Sun Bears in Asia, Black bears of South-east Asia and the Sloth bears of India. You can follow the adventures of Hefty the Sun bear here
Free the Bears, sun bears
Hefty the Sun Bear recuperates in a Cambodian bear sanctuary

Another of the ten prints will be archived, and the other eight will be sent to eight other participants in the exchange. So every participant will get to keep eight prints by other printmakers.

But by no means all the prints are about bears, or even flowers. They call on us to remember all endangered species, both flora and fauna, and if we like a print enough to want to buy it, we can enjoy the knowledge that our money will be contributing to a worthy cause.
handmade prints, extinction, conservation, art, exhibitions
Moth Orchid by Paige Maingot

Bittondi Printmakers Association Inc's studio is based within the Aberfoyle Park High School campus. The name Bittondi is a Kaurna word meaning 'to press' and reflects the activity of making prints. The name was chosen by the members to honour the Kaurna land, on which the studio is located, and the Kaurna people.
screenprinting, handmade prints, Bittondi
A screenprinting workshop at Bittondi Printmaking Association's studio in Aberfoyle Park

For more information on Bittondi about classes, exhibitions and membership, email
handmade prints, extinction, conservation, art, exhibitions
If a tree falls.... by Sandy Fisher

Bears and Blooms will open at 3pm on Saturday 18th October, 2014, at Red Poles Gallery, McMurtrie Road, McLaren Vale. (More about Red Poles here). It continues until November 23rd.

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Why? Postcards from the edge of extinction by emerging and established printmakers
When: October 18 to November 23rd, Wed-Sun 9-5pm
Phone: 83238994
Where: Red Poles Gallery, Cafe and B & B
Cost: free
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