Early Healesville Artists Unite to Produce Fine Art Prints

A printing workshop for community members is being organized later this year by a group of First Nations artists, funded by Council grants for the community.

United Mobs in Art (UMIA), a collective of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists in Healesville, received a Council grant this year to participate in art print workshops and share these skills with the community.

UMIA was created with the aim of providing opportunities for intergenerational skill sharing and cultural capacity building.

UMIA member and Bidjara woman Nikki Browne participated in the workshops with other UMIA artists, the first of which was held at the Australian Print Workshop (APW) in Fitzroy.

UMIA artists Aunty Kim Wandin, Nikki Browne, Jillian Duff, Merilyn Duff, Jamielee Edwards, Megan Prout and Jo Voce attended the Fitzroy workshop and created a tremendous amount of artwork.

For the second workshop, the APW team and their traveling etching press traveled to Candlebark Farm near Healesville, where a temporary print studio was set up and two other UMIA members – Kelvin Thomas and Jacqui Wandin – joined them.

“The result for us as a collective has been amazing,” Ms Browne said.

“The workshops allow people of all experience levels to create incredible works of art.

“I look forward to sharing the skills we learned with the community in the future, through workshops aimed at bringing people together in a safe, supported and nurturing environment for all.”

Hearth Galleries curator and director Chris Joy said the prints from these early workshops had generated huge interest from community members wanting to purchase locally made artwork.

She said the UMIA was now planning a textile printing course for the community later this year, based on the skills learned in the APW workshops.

Ms. Joy said an exhibition of fine art and textile printing would also be held later in the year, with the timing of both events to be determined by state and federal COVID-19 restrictions. .

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Elaine F. Brim