Cascade Art

Drawing from the Line

A printmaking response to poetry, quotation and the words that shape us.Download Artist Catalog

An eclectic collection of imaginative and talented Printmakers. Each print reveals a curious interest in the poetics of language and image making. We have 34 Artists contributing an exclusive edition of prints for this select exhibition. Drawing from the Line is in the tradition of previous Cascade Printmaking Projects such as the highly acclaimed Tree Show 2013 and Biting Issues 2011 which were also part of former Castlemaine State Festivals.

Susan Clarke, Ted Waayers, Janet Neilson, Marysia Jarosinska, Lydia Poljak, Kevin Foley, Jan Palethorpe, Rhyll Plant, Loris Button, Nicky Carey, Anita Laurence, Dianne Longley, Anne Langdon, James Pasakos, Kim Barter, Barbara Semler, Anne-Marie Taylor, Bill Young, Ann Baxter, Jeff Gardner, Carlo San Giorgio, Stephen Tester, Robert Maclaurin, Anna Havir, Kareen Anchen, Chrisanne Blennerhassett, Clayton Tremlett, Jane Rusden, Helen Gilfillan, Marte Newcombe, Richard Sullivan, Erika Beilharz, Catherine Pilgrim, Julie Gittus.

Exhibition ran from 5th March until 5th May 2019.
The Official Opening was 2pm Saturday 9 March, 2019.
And was officially opened by Rosemary Sorensen, Director of Bendigo Writers Festival.

Cover image – Marte Newcombe – Lines of my Father (Detail)

Rosemary Sorensen – Notes for Official Opening “Drawing from the Line” 2019

Banjo Paterson, Jane Hirshfield …Rilke …Byron …Edward Lear …Leonard Cohen… you’ll enjoy browsing the rich references behind this excellent new exhibition brought to us by Maldon’s Cascade Gallery.

Collograph, intaglio, etching, screen print, drypoint, aquatint, mezzotint…. You’ll enjoy too this dazzling variety of printmaking techniques and styles, which is, of course, the bedrock, the original text, if you like, for Cascade and this truly stunning new gallery created by Kareen and Jeff.

The lovely conjunction of words and images – which gives this show its title, Drawing from the Line, has proven to be a winner.
I’m not sure what these extraordinary people hoped for when they sent out their invitations to contribute to this show, but I think they can now feel very, very pleased with the results. It’s rich and inspiring, intriguing and comforting…

In a world that seems to force us to debase both words and imagery, here we have artworks inviting us to imagine and share the best of the human mind, from the jaunty to the tragic, the sentimental to the monumental. It is a most satisfyingly “real” exhibition.

Isn’t it interesting that so many buildings that once were dedicated to religion are becoming art galleries? I’m not suggesting that art is replacing religion – or maybe I am… We do need the numinous, as some of the prints in this exhibition suggest

…and we also need to gather together for rituals that help us find meaning and order our lives, as this opening gathering also reminds us.
Many people have written about the religious origins of art which, despite the secularisation of our society, still attracts us. As I was thinking about this opening, and responding to Kareen’s very kind invitation to take part, I was also ruminating in a less pleasant fashion on the imminent opening of the Bendigo Art Gallery’s Royal Portrait exhibition. It might turn out to be wonderful, but how on earth, in 2019, as we fight through the sludge of corporate corruption, wealth-controlled politics, and celebrity mediocrity, can we take in such a show without feeling overwhelmed by what it tells us about history and privilege… and underwhelmed by the artistic intention?

For me, that show is diametrically opposed to what we have here in this repurposed church building: and I know which one I value and which one I need.
Which brings me to words: and writing, and the miraculous manner in which, in the English language, 26 letters can combine infinitely to relay meaning ….and to not just reflect but also create what we call the mind.

I’ve no doubt that some of the artists here, as they took up Kareen and Jeff’s challenge and thought out words that inspired them, were surprised at how their minds began to build lines, create shapes and images, colour and texture, building architecturally, expanding organically, as they worked away on their chosen text.

I imagine some artists may agree when I say that writing is the thinking and doing that allows our best selves to be expressed. If art takes writing as its starting point it’s as though the working out done in the creation of the work has, if not a headstart, at least a kickstart. That, I imagine, can on occasion liberate an artist; it certainly does feel like many of these works have responded wonderfully well to that liberation.

And I should add here that it’s not all Byron and Emily Dickinson, beautiful as those words are. Once heard, it’s nigh impossible to forget the sentiment expressed in You ain’t nothing but a hound dog… ain’t gonna feed you no more. Thanks Bill Young for that one.

There’s so many ways to read these works, to enjoy them and think about them. So here’s a few observations, selected randomly from my browsing of this show…

I’d like to thank Stephen Lester for reminding me that “runcible spoon” comes from the Owl and the Pussy Cat and what a weird and wonderful poem that is. And how right is that image – Edward Lear’s immortal owl and pussycat, looking at us as though to say, yep, we’re celebrities all right.

Thanks to Jan Palethorpe for recalling her own meeting as a child with John Masefield’s Cargoes poem; like her, I fell into the exotic rhythms of that poem, the words that were so illusive and elusive. She’s got the same magical imagination-awakening quality in her artwork here.

Then there’s the introduction (for me) to the work of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, an American author who died in 1953, and who wrote in the quote selected by Julie Gittus about the “cosmic secrecy of the seed”. “We are tenants, not possessors”. Julie’s captured the mysterious loveliness of those floating seedheads we have around here, at certain times of the year.

Or what about Jeff Gardner, writing his own cat-inspired verse and including the line: “We all despair our house is full of hair” – thanks for that Jeff, I come from a house full of hair, and I probably should despair more about it.

You’ll find your own connections, memories and questions in the works of this exhibition. As Anne-Maree Taylor says about her superb prints inspired by Banjo Paterson, many of us recall bits of poems that then unlock kaleidoscopes of meaning. And because this kind of art and this kind of exhibition are essential to our humanity, you’ll find yourself enlivened and encouraged by them.

Thanks to all the artists for your beautiful work, and thanks to Kareen and Jeff for bringing it to us.
May this Drawing from the Line be the first of many here in Maldon.

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