This month’s Curator’s Choice exhibition includes a new addition to the PJP stable. Clayton Tremlett’s etchings and linocuts deal with the Australian colonial subject, asking us to rethink the glorified histories of our country’s past. In his Beard and Influence series, Tremlett uses self portraiture to cast himself as some of Australia’s most famous bush rangers (Ned Kelly pictured above), in doing so he implicates himself and the modern Australian in our notorious past. To introduce you to Tremlett and his work, we had a chat with the artist about the nuances of his practice and subject matter.
What inspires you to create?
I am inspired by the aesthetic challenges of printmaking. I enjoy the process of of making an image, then reversing it in the development of plates and blocks; it always surprises me to see work printed for the first time.
Your prints have a very apparent interest in the Australian colonial subject, what draws you to this concept?
My interest in colonial history emerged when researching my Unissued Stamps series. Looking at early stamps and postmarks led to questions of how we perceive Australian history.
How do you think printmaking, specifically, helps convey this concept?
My work often references to historical printmaking techniques and processes in its themes and imagery. I have explored wallpapers, stamps, studio portraits and documentary photographs (bush rangers), printmaking allows me to expand on the content and messages of my work as information produced for public consumption.
How would you describe your prints in a single sentence?
My prints ask their audience to reflect on Australian history and how we perceive it.