GUAM x Taring Padi x Griffith University Printmakers Club Collaborative Printmaking Workshop 

On Sunday, February 26, the Griffith University Printmakers Club facilitated a collaborative printmaking workshop with members of the QCAD printmaking community and Aris, Bebe and Dodi from Taring Padi.

The morning started with a visit to GUAM, where Aris, Bebe and Dodi shared some of the printmaking work in the exhibition and how they created relief prints as a collaborative group. This visit enabled members of the Griffith University Printmakers Club to ask Aris, Bebe, and Dodi questions about the making process within Taring Padi as a collective, how they approach generating their imagery, and then how they approach the carving process and, finally, print; which involved a lot of walking and dancing on the top the prints! Seeing the work installed in GUAM and having the artists speak about the work on display was a wonderful experience and beneficial insight into their practice.


Following the visit to GUAM, participants moved into the QCAD Print studio. Reflecting on the diverse experiences with the group and the conversation topic of ‘the cost of living’, necessities like food and shelter came to mind alongside access to resources and facilities, illustrating the universal concerns surrounding the financial instability experienced by many across the world, including Australia. After generating some initial thoughts on paper, the group moved to work with low-cost materials, including cardboard as a matrix, to develop imagery that they felt focused on the cost of living, with the major supermarkets and the global economy being a hot topic of conversation.

As the morning progressed, participants continued to develop their imagery, and following lunch, it was time to move into printing the images carved during the first half of the day. Participants inked up their cardboard matrix and printed their work using either the Hydraulic press or Alexander Press (the oldest press in the university) and had the opportunity to gather feedback from one another, support each other in printing the works and experiment with layering and colour.



As everyone came to this collaborative workshop with varying degrees of printmaking knowledge, it was an opportunity to learn from one another and consider further developments of the works created and what else could be possible. Works continued to be pinned to the wall and varying iterations of the prints were being created.

The most collaborative aspect of the making process was in the final part of the day when each participant couldn’t pin their work to the wall, and it had to be done by someone else in the group. Other participants could also cut up printed works and place them in varying iterations and forms on the wall. Many QCAD printmaking students felt that this was a fundamental shift in their learning and how individualistic we can unconsciously be. This shift in approach to bringing the collaborative work together generated cross-connection with everyone and an opportunity to talk about how each printed work could be interpreted by one another to create a larger conversation around the cost of living. It also removed the sense of seeing ‘individual’ printmakers on the wall to something that spoke of everyone connected and interlinked.

Whilst the visual outcome was a significant aspect of the day, the connections and conversations throughout the day were more important and long-lasting to all involved. The opportunity for printmakers in the Asia-Pacific region to come together and share in a ‘print culture’ experience to make work and get to know each other is something that all the participants will remember for many years. We are very thankful to the members of the QCAD printmaking community and for the time that Aris, Bebe and Dodi gave as members of Taring Padi to this collaborative printmaking workshop.

A final additional outcome of the workshop was shifting the work into the glass box at QCAD as part of the first week of the trimester in a new iteration of the work on view for the wider QCAD Community on the return of the teaching year.

Blog post by AEL Summer Scholarship students Emily Parker and Jorge Marino Brito. Images courtesy of Taring Padi and Griffith University Printmakers Club. Photography by Emily Parker and Jorge Marino Brito.

Taring Padi: Tanah Tumpah Darah is on at Griffith University Art Museum from 29 February to 29 May 2024. More information can be found here.