Healesville’s First Artists unite to produce fine art prints

BR- Jamielee Edwards &  Merilyn Duff FR:Nikki Browne, Aunty Kim Wandin, Jo Vose & Megan Prout


A printing workshop for community members is being organised for later this year by a group of First Nations artists, funded by Council’s Grants for Community.

The United Mobs in Art (UMIA), a collective of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists in Healesville, received a grant this year from Council to participate in fine art printing workshops and share these skills with the community.

UMIA was formed with the goal of providing opportunities for intergenerational skill sharing and cultural capacity building.

UMIA member and Bidjara woman, Nikki Browne, participated in the workshops with other UMIA artists, with the first held at the Australian Print Workshop (APW) in Fitzroy.

UMIA Artists, Aunty Kim Wandin, Nikki Browne, Jillian Duff, Merilyn Duff, Jamielee Edwards, Megan Prout and Jo Voce attended the Fitzroy workshop and created a considerable amount of artworks.

For the second workshop, the APW team and their travelling etching press came to Candlebark Farm near Healesville, where a temporary print studio was set up and two more UMIA members – Kelvin Thomas and Jacqui Wandin – joined in.

“The result for us as a collective was amazing,” Ms Browne said.

“The workshops allow people of all levels of experience to create incredible works of art.

“I’m looking forward to sharing the skills we learned with the community in the future, through workshops aimed at bringing people together in a safe, supported and nurturing environment for everyone.”

Hearth Galleries curator and manager, Chris Joy, said the prints from these first workshops had generated huge interest from community members wishing to purchase locally-made artworks.

She said that UMIA was now planning a textile printing course for the community later this year, based on the skills learned in the APW workshops.

Ms Joy said an exhibition of fine art prints and textile printing would also be organised for later in the year, with both events timing to be determined by State and Federal Government COVID-19 restrictions.