Inkmasters is located in Cairns, in Tropical North Queensland, situated on the edge of the Coral Sea and the focal point of a region which reaches north to the Torres Strait, west past the Atherton Tablelands, and south to Townsville. It is renowned for its unique environment and it is the only place in the world where two world heritage areas meet - the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest.
What better place to have a festival of print! InkFest is unique to city of Cairns - a centre of printmaking excellence. Held in winter, the best time of the year in the tropics, it comprises many inter-related printmaking activities for artists of all cultural backgrounds and levels. These include indigenous, emerging and established artists, as well as school children who participate in the mega community engagement event - the BIG PRINT.
The principal event is the international juried Inkmasters Print Exhibition at Tanks Arts Centre July-August with prize money in 2018 of $15000 - it is a tour de force of works of print media artists from local to international. The launch commenced with a public talk by Simon Wright of AQGOMA. Shown adjacent to the major exhibition are New prints from the InkFest Workshops and prints by Artist in Residence Gary Shinfield. Prominent InkMasters have delivered 4 workshops, Big Print T shirts were created at a Tanks Market Day, while at CIAF Heather Koowootha and Tommy Pau delivered Mini Lino Workshop.
The BIG PRINT. Prior to print day on 29 July, Tanks Market Day, InkMasters conducted 10 workshops in Cairns primary and secondary schools and Girringun, Yarrabah, and Wujal Wujal communities The blocks were printed all at once in a long line c. 20 x 1 metres, with a big team of volunteer printmakers, friends and the audience. Printdancing produced the 2018 BIG PRINT and what a lort of fun it was! The Cairns Pan Stars Steel Orchestra Band provided great music and the Belly Dazzlers led the dancing. The BIG PRINT showed at Cell Art Space Gallery, 6-31 August.
We sincerely thank all our sponsors, supporters and volunteers: The Queensland Government through the Dept of Premier and Cabinet and Arts Queensland, and the Cairns Regional Council through their Regional Events grant and once again, the amazing staff at Tanks. Thanks also to REACH who once again supported the Big Print and to the sponsors of the exhibition prizes: Dr Raya Mayo, Corsair Management, Robert Clarke Builders, Central Queensland University, Australia Cultural Foundation through the Boost Grant, TPG Architects, R and F Steel Building, Auxiliary Designs and two anonymous donors.