Housing a permanent collection, Reflecting Canberra, and a variety of local, national and international exhibitions, CMAG provides a refreshing insight to the integration of social history and the visual arts.
1917 – 1999
Close owly, 1990
3-colour photo-screenprint on Rives BFK paper
75.8 x 49 cm (image)
100.5 x 69.8 cm (sheet)
printed by Basil Hall and Gary Shinfield
Studio One was an independent printmaking workshop that operated in the Canberra suburb of Kingston for eighteen years. It was hugely influential in Canberra and in the wider visual arts community in Australia in furthering the appreciation, understanding and craft of printmaking in this country. Studio One was founded by Meg Buchanan and Dianne Fogwell in 1983, on the crest of a nascence of the visual arts in the Canberra region; the (then) Canberra School of Art, under the direction of Udo Sellbach, was fostering the teaching of visual art based on a European workshop model, and had attracted artists of signifi cant calibre and international reputation to head the workshops. These included Jörg Schmeisser, Head of Printmaking, and Petr Herel, Head of the drawing-based Graphic Investigation Workshop, both important printmakers. Buchanan and Fogwell established Studio One to provide access to printmaking facilities – specialising in intaglio and relief processes – for the burgeoning number of graduate artists in Canberra, and also to open up the use of facilities to a broader public. Over the years they worked with both established and emerging artists, who were able to expand and further their own practice through the expertise of master printmakers. Essentially Studio One turned ideas into images.
The workshop was located in a 3-storey building in Leichhardt Street, Kingston, and the building – known as Kingston Art Space – became a hub for the visual arts in Canberra for many years, housing artists’ studios, and various galleries, including the australian Girls Own Gallery (aGOG), Ben Grady Gallery and Spiral Arm.
In 1987 Buchanan and Fogwell incorporated the workshop, and Studio One Inc. was born. Basil Hall was appointed a Co- Director in 1987, and then Director, which position he held until 1994. Studio One Inc. expanded to include lithography and boasted ten presses, a process camera and type fonts for artist books. (Hall subsequently went to Darwin to run Northern Editions and then Basil Hall Editions.) In 1996 Lynne Magor- Blatch became the director of Studio One. In the 1990s the workshop developed a strong reputation for its work with Indigenous artists, particularly after the appointment of master printmaker Theo Tremblay in 1993. Striking works by artists such as Rover Thomas, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Ginger Riley and Jack Britten were produced, as well as prints by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists located in the Canberra region.
Studio One closed its doors in 2000, a victim perhaps of its own success: having educated artists and audiences for many years its innovations had become institutionalised, and funding for and access to printmaking had expanded signifi cantly in the Canberra region in since 1983. In the early 1980s it was a struggle to retain artists – graduates and others – in a town of limited art resources; 25 years later the Canberra region has a very strong visual arts community and infrastructure, owing in large part to enterprises such as Studio One, begun and sustained through singular dedication and professional commitment.
After its closure the Studio One archive and equipment was distributed between the National Gallery of Australia, the Canberra Museum and Gallery and Megalo Access Arts, via a special purchase grant from the ACT overnment. CMAG acquired 800 workshop proof prints, retained at the completion of each successful print edition. They constitute a discrete and remarkable slice of visual arts in Australia. The CMAG Collection: Studio One Prints exhibition was held in 2004, including over 100 works from the collection.
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