Understanding Alice Linocuts Purchased by Monash University

Recently I have been printing up more of my Understanding Alice Edition for Monash University who requested a full set (17 Linocuts) and two artists, books for their rare book collection one of these is a one-off book where the images are original mixed media drawings and the other is a linocut book editioned to only 3.

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If you have been to my website you will know the book as the making of it is on the banner of the homepage. I am very glad to be part of the Monash University Rare Books collection.

Here is a video showing the Printing of the Understanding Alice Linocuts you can see the individual images on the website they are $220 unframed each, shipping is free if you buy more than one. http://shanajames.com/understanding-alice-images-2/


Ourself Behind Ourself Concealed – The Ideas

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Thank you to everyone who went and saw the Between the Sheets Exhibition curated by Gallery East. The exhibition is now being packed up and sent to Australian Galleries in Collingwood, opening on the 13th June 2017, which I am very excited about. Some people have asked me about the ideas behind the work so here is the artists’ statement:

This work is derived from both: the paper dolls I used to make as a child by cutting a figure into concertina folded paper and the paper dolls that came in a kit with stylish paper clothes to dress your doll in.  This work is inspired by the free-flowing creativity of children at play, and my wish to reconnect to that self.

The human condition is to strive for change, to want more in the physical world, through this external striving. Do we find the self concealed within? or is this busy work distracting us from our true purpose?

I chose for this work the format of female form, but this is not just for a female audience, it is a representation of all humanity, transcending gender and culture. It is a work that speaks to our humanity. The paper clothes have been replaced by  the transparent openness of the internal tree. The tree is vividly coloured, reminding us of our potential brilliance and potential growth. It is the capacity to tap into this state of flow that allows us to evolve.

The title is taken from a line in a Poem by Emily Dickinson. While I found that line to be perfect as the title of this piece, the rest of the poem which traversed the dark corridors of the mind and does not really relate to this work except in that it offers an alternative way of looking at the self, perhaps deeper than the mind. The self concealed within.

The Between the Sheets Exhibition will be on at Australian Galleries ,35 Derby Street Collingwood 3066 from 13th June to 2nd July 2017

Between the Sheets Exhibition Reviewed in Saturdays West Australian

William Yeoman has written a great review of the Between the Sheets Exhibition, curated by Gallery East, now on at Central Tafe Gallery. Exhibition continues until April 8th before travelling to Melbourne. I was fortunate to have a photograph of my work chosen for the review.



Artist in Residence Penrhos College

I was invited by Penrhos College to come and work with their year 7 and year 9 students who are working on linocut. I am also mentoring a year 12 student who is using linocut to create her final project. Today we did chin colle on the year 9 sample blocks. They did these pieces as a precursor to larger ones they are working on now. So far I have been incredibly impressed with the standard of the work.

During my short stay there, I am also working on some of my own work and have a display of my work up in the gallery area adjacent to the art room. I have talked about my work to several classes but will be having a more formal artist talk in the first week of next term (date to be advised).

I have felt very welcomed by the staff and the students are focused and attentive. I am really enjoying my stay.

New Classes for 2017, Bali Wrap Up and Artist Books

What a great start to the year the Bali Workshop was! It was a fantastic group of interesting artists and teachers. Being surrounded by the beautiful gardens, trees tropical flowers and the sound of running water wherever you go has had a lasting effect on me. The ARMA resort did NOT disappoint with great food as usual Ibu Puska who has worked at the ARMA for over 20 years, is the head Chef there, a lovely lady. When you talk to her you can hear the passion she has about food and ingredients and it shows in the outstanding meals we had.  I haven’t got any food shots unfortunately but here are some photos, of our week away.

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Now back home and classes at the Fremantle Art Centre

Studio Print is a fantastic way to get back into making your own work, share ideas with likeminded people and be mentored through your own project. Mondays 1:30 – 4:30pm  or Saturday  1:30 – 4:30pm.

Contact the Fremantle Arts Centre 9432 9555

I have some other great classes coming up Linocut on Tuesday evenings, Etching Wednesday mornings, Beginners Printmaking Monday Mornings, Learn to Draw on Tuesday mornings. See the website for details http://www.fac.org.au/courses/adults/?cat=50

Other things on the Horizon

I’m finishing off an artists’ book for Between the Sheets which is an exhibition that will be on at Central Tafe Gallery in March. Here are some images of the work in progress. I have just been asked if I would do a short artist in residency at Penrhos College, which should be fun.

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Putting Together the Materials Kits

I’m in Ubud Bali for my Linocut Workshop at the ARMA resort in Ubud. Had a really busy day yesterday putting the kits together.  The box the kit comes in is hand woven in Bali, it took some organising to get the boxes made to size, but totally worth it, and a great way to support local crafts people. They are exquisitely made. There is over $240 worth of materials in this kit and I’ve sourced quality  brands I’ve been using for years.


Choosing Lino Tools

Hope you all had a fabulous Christmas, I come from a big family and we had lots of excited kids and lots of great food and got to catch up with family who don’t live in Perth. I really enjoy this time of year, time to take stock of things, relax and spend time with friends.

Also every January I take a group of people to Ubud, Bali to teach a linocut workshop. The workshop runs from the 8th – 15th of January, I will arrive a couple of days earlier, to be organised. I have already got the materials, for the linocut kits every participant receives and written the linocut information booklet.

When it comes to buying lino tools, I wanted quality tools that were reasonably priced and good value for money. (Of course if you have more to spend you can’t go passed the Swiss Pfeil tools or the Japanese Powergrip.)

In the kit I have 2 types of lino tools, One is the speedball tool which

Speedball Cutting Tool

has 5 blades that fit into an ergonomic handle. I like this kit because it has the finest blade for detail, for the price there is nothing finer. The handle is easy t hold and comfortable. It’s a good all rounder.

This year I also added a second set of tools to the kit, I came across it during the year when I teach linocut at the Fremantle Arts Centre. I can’t tell you what they are called because they are Japanese and the box is only labelled in Japanese characters. True to their reputation these tools are sharp, and while they lack the ergonomic shape of the speedball they make up for it in the quality of the steel. In fact, I haven’t seen anything as good for the price. They look just like the cheap ones you may have used before.  In this picture they are the Three tools in the yellow box. They look like the kind of tools every school art room has,  but these are much sharper than those! Personally, I think it is cruel to expect kids to do good work with those blunt tools, they get poor results and then, understandably decide they don’t like printmaking. Or worse they say “I’m not creative and I can’t do that.”

You are creative and with the right tools and instruction, You can do that. Find out about my Bali Trip here or see my linocuts here. I’m off to Bali soon so I have started an Ubud Art workshops Facebook page, like us and you can see it all unfold. Maybe you can join us next time.

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