Marian Crawford is an artist with a twenty year exhibiting history, and her last solo exhibition was at c3 Contemporary Art Space, Melbourne, in June 2013. She is currently lecturer at Monash Art Design & Architecture, Monash University, Melbourne; and was Convener of the Impact7 Conference held at Monash Caulfield, September 2011.
Works of Protest
This paper explores the relationship between image making and activism looking at the small / free press movement in Australia, particularly in the 1970s and 80s focusing on the political poster as a printed art form. We will survey the productions and motivations of Australian artist-run print-based collectives, including Redback Graphix, Tin Sheds/Earthworks Poster Collective and others, with particular reference to the works of Chips Mackinolty, Marie McMahon and works made by Another Planet Posters.
Many of the works produced by these small presses where made quickly for immediate public consumption, and distributed via paste-ups, collective networks, activist distribution channels and student circulation. Many only survived this ephemeral presentation if they were souvenired into private collections. Some of the works, however, moved into public gallery collections and this paper considers the contemporary relevance of these works.
The paper describes how these printed works made by collectives peopled by writers, activists, anarchists and artists explored Indigenous land rights in particular, while also noting these small presses’ concerns and engagement with equal rights for women, public health, human rights and Australia’s position in the global community with regard to the proliferation of nuclear arms and uranium mining.