Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
Tuesday 9 March was a special day for Hunter Island Press (HIP) as it was the day that the Minister for Workplace Realations, Lisa Singh, launched stage two of the redevelopment of the Hunter island Press, artists print development facility at the Wirksworth stables in Bellerive.
Ms Singh was joined by Alderman Jock Campbell, Mayor of Clarence and Alderman Richard James, of Clarence Council. Also in attendance was Professor Noel Frankham, Head of the University of Tasmania’s School of Art as well as representatives of the Department of Economic Development who lease the buildings to HIP.
The proceedings were introduced by HIP’s president, John Ingleton who spoke of the difficulties of adequately thanking all the people who had had a part in reaching this milestone since the time of HIP’s inception in 2004. He commended the members of the original committee; Christine Scott, Corinne Costello, Karen Lunn, Tracey Cockburn, Helena Demczuk and Tony Tenbensel, who had a vision and made a committment to work toward the establsihment of this studio – a place where print artists at all skill levels would find a home, a place to make art and share their knowledge with others.
John also thanked Robert Tenbensel of Tenbensel and Dee and Patrick Lunn of Simmons Wolfhagen who gave up their time in those early days to help define the parameters for the organisational structure as well as Linden Langdon and her partner Steven Clark who had done such a great job in establishing a cyber presence for the organisation through the development of the highly commended HIP website.
He highlighted the assistance given by the broader arts community that contributed to this event; Milan Milojevic who inspired, Noel Frankham who encouraged, Paula Wreidt, Lynne Uptin and David Edgar who supported, Julie Cook who donated the lithographic press, and of course Arts Tasmania who have encouraged and supported HIP over the past five years and contributed financially to various projects including $11,936 to purchase the Enjay etching press which made possible this refurbishment.
The Australian Business Arts Foundation (Abaf) have given support through their Advicebank and Australia Cultural Fund as well as various training programs, the Department of Education through their Adult Continuing Education (ACE) program and Tasmanian Regional Arts have supported a number of regional projects over the years.
John handed over to Jock Campbell, the mayor of Clarence who spoke of Council’s long association with HIP through the Rosny Schoolhouse gallery and his enjoyment of the excellent work produced by the members of Hunter Island Press. He spoke of Council’s concern to see a worthwhile use made of the historic Wirksworth estate and thanked the State Government for making the Stables building and Annex available to HIP. Jock said that he hoped that it would become a productive home for Tasmanian print artists. He then introduced Lisa Singh MP to officially launch the refurbished facility.
Ms Singh echoed the previous speakers sentiments about the commitment necessary to make something like the HIP studio happen. She spoke about the fact that, while governments can support the goals of organisations like Hunter Island Press, outcomes like this only come about through passion and commitment. She spoke of her previous experience as an arts administrator and how this gave her an insight into how much effort goes into achieving the sort of results that HIP have achieved over the the past five years. Ms Singh noted that, although the studio was located in Clarence, it catered for artists from a wide ranging area in southern Tasmania including her own electorate of Denison. She congratulated all those who had been involved in making this happen and stated that this is an example that Tasmania’s arts community is alive and well, is organised, and is working to provide opportunities for graduates to make art and get it out where it can be seen, appreciated and purchased by other Tasmanians.
After declaring the facility open Ms Singh was presented with a set of framed prints by HIP printmakers from the Reel Heroes Safe Beaches project as a thank you.
Following the formalities there was plenty of opportunities for people to mingle and discuss the work of HIP and its members.
The new HIP facility will provide the only public access lithographic press in Tasmania as well as the full size etching press mentioned above and the smaller press which has been their mainstay over the past two years.
In addition, it boasts a digital print facility with three PCs and two Macs as well as scanners and printers to meet the demands of contemporary print artists. There is an opportunity for members to learn the secrets of Adobe Photoshop using Adobe’s Classroom in a Book program.
There will also be Litho stones and plates and screen printing equipment available for hire to members and HIP is working toward the launch of their workshop program later this year.