Artist in Residence
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE AT THE ROYAL W.A. Institute FOR THE BLIND Perth
The idea of the Artist in Residence at the Royal W.A. Institute for the Blind (R.I.B.) evolved during a visit to Perth in February 1985.I had grown up near the R.I.B. and as a child I played on the Seventh Avenue Railway Bridge in Maylands which was crossed daily by people with canes.
Hon John Harman, Speaker and local MLA for Maylands, is President of the R.I.B. Over the years he has followed my work with the Broome Arts Group Aboriginal Inc. and other activities in the Kimberleys. When we met again, I explained my similar more substantial arts-based approach to Community Enterprise in the attractive Wiseman's Ferry area in NSW, where I now live with my family. John was shown photographs of the workshop I had built, fabric designs, and a range of children's deck chairs.
Following our meeting he said he was to attend the R.I.B. for business discussions. So I asked whether the 'sheltered workshop' could make the child deck chair frames from Australian timbers. In a positive response, their furniture consultants introduced us to Australiana Sales and Exports (ASE). They are a lively West Australian Company, very aware of the merchandising potential of the America's Cup challenge, and were already exporting a deck chair range.
ASE seemed impressed by; design quality, the 'wholeness' of our background, and our endeavors in Community Enterprise and the Arts. They were keen to help us in any way.
My proposal, at this stage, was to mount an exhibition and use the occasion to establish direction. ASE put forward the W.A. Week timing for the exhibition, and busily went about consolidating opportunities to host the event.
John Harman arranged a visit, to look over the R.I.B. facilities and meet the staff. I felt we could make a contribution to the design and marketability of the institute's cane products.
Upon leaving Perth, I put forward a proposal about me to being an Artist in Residence at the Royal W.A. Institute for the Blind for which they would seek funding.
PRELIMINARY DISPLAY IN SYDNEY
Back in Sydney, in order to set the exhibition in motion, I extended my new relationship with Interior Designer Joel Spencer of Eastwood NSW. A window display was mounted to promote my work. It was to be a sample display of the works for the W.A. Week Exhibition.
I followed up with letters to John Harman and ASE about my intentions for W.A. Week. ASE approached the new Merlin Hotel as a venue and co-ordinate with R.I.B. to book the space for the Exhibition.
Using the photos from the Joel Spencer Display and from my Exhibition at the Health and Resource Centre at Wiseman's Ferry, a promotional booklet was compiled. It was used to gain endorsement from the W.A. Week Council. R.I.B. then put forward a proposal for me to be Artist in Residence. The Application went to the W.A. Arts Council for consideration.
NEW DESIGNS PREPARATION
With the W.A. week timeframe in mind, the next task was to produce new fabric designs.
It required an equipment update, new large silk screens and new materials. I needed borrowings to cover the costs of creating a large exhibition on the other side of the continent. Freight was a concern. Mr Howard Debney of Leapfrog Screen Print helped with budget estimates. Mr George Hardwick a Lecturer at the Sydney College of the Arts Balmain gave timely advice and access to their facilities. (help in exposing large photo silkscreen images).
In the meantime I was working up new designs and still teaching in local schools each week.
Nightly, I would work through till 2, 3 and 4 o'clock in the morning to cover the work required.
I sent a letter to the R.I.B. with diagrams of plans for the exhibition, which included, photographs and specifications for the deck chairs, and sample covers. We appreciated the calls from Ms Maureen Strausse from the W.A. Arts Council to expedite the assessment of the proposal for the Artist in Residency.
Approval came through for the Artist in Residence and so, too, did our loan to cover costs such as materials, research, and photographs - freight to Perth etc. for me to pay for the exhibition.
All the large images (135 x 90cms) were printed in Sydney. Fabrics were ordered through Joel Spencer Interiors. We appreciate his advice and his contacts. The exhibition could not have proceeded without his help.
We arrived in Perth on May 17th, and looked over the exhibition venue at the new 5 Star Merlin Hotel on the next day with my friend and Broome musician, Jimmy Chi. I had a meeting and commenced the residency on, May 2Oth.
Over-Commitment for W.A. Week
R.I.B. were over-committed for W.A. Week, which included:
1) AGM attended by its patron the Governor of W.A. a celebrating 90 years of R.I.B.
2) Expo display in Darwin to be attended by the R.I.B Director Mr Len Dickson.
3) a coinciding W.A. Week Display by the salesmen in R.I.B. Hall
As a result, I could not expect the full attention that we had anticipated.
I must emphasise the positive help that was directed to me from everyone at R.I.B. Especially when I realise that each person was 'still in the dark' as to what I was supposed to be doing. (Visual Artist in an Institute for the Blind). They also had domestic orders to fill and other commitments for W.A. Week.
It was at John Harman's instigation that the R.I.B. Board put forward the proposal for the Artist in Residency. According to John, 'among other things, it was my creativity that would be of benefit to the place'. My creative role was never easily or clearly defined.
My first task was to choose a suitable space on the premises and set up the work area. I needed to secure access for working through the night to complete the exhibition on time. I built a temporary dark room for coating screens and storing photo silkscreen emulsion and established a washout area devoid of sunlight, and a small exposure system. Peter made a perspex trough for me to coat emulsion onto the screens. Greg and Andrew made a good range of silk screens for me to stretch with silk.
Buying materials and locating suppliers in a 'foreign' city, was time consuming. Mt. Lawley W.A. CAE lent me stretching tools.
WORKING WITH CABINET MAKING SECTION
The cabinetmaking section had many back orders to fill, so R.I.B. employed another tradesman to work on the deck chairs. Disaster struck the first day when he chopped the top off his finger. The set back put pressure on the program to complete the range of deck chairs in time for the exhibition.
The W.A. She-Oak that he was cutting is an attractive and hard native timber, which required machining and thicknessing for framing the fabrics and making the chairs. The hearing impaired apprentice who worked on the framing was very interested in the fabric printing process. As the deadline grew nearer, it was very heartening to work alongside such committed staff. I am very grateful for their time.
The makeshift nature of the temporary workshop disrupted the continuity of work - I missed the set up of my own studio. I was working as late as four in the morning to complete the printing. The exposure of screens) was delayed by several days of extraordinarily heavy and untimely rain (the coating of screens in the UV sensitive emulsion requires sunlight to harden the stencil.
Following the long nights, I had to be up and on deck at least by 9.00 a.m. to deliver the printed fabric to the upholsterers, and snatch a bit of time from other tradesmen as they went about their other tasks.
HELP FROM W.A.I.T.
W.A.I.T. (now Curtin University of Technology) is where I completed my Associateship in Fine Arts. They gave me access to their long fabric tables. Students expressed interest in the project at RIB, and a keenness to help. The sunlight exposure method is not used at W.A.I.T.
Kay Regan the RIB publicity officer and I, had a very good meeting with the Head of Art Design at W.A.I.T, Mr.Tony Russell. Several years ago he had initiated the involvement of students in Designing for the R.I.B. They put forward designs for many products and a marketing package. They designed the current logo and emphasised the need for quality design to be incorporated into the operation and ethos of R.I.B.
Discussing the outcome with W.A.I.T with Mr. Dickson, he mentioned that at the time of their involvement they suffered from liquidity problems, and as a result, those initiatives were not followed through. Both Mr Dickson and Mr Russell wished to renew the venture.
Mr Russell is also convener of Design West. They have funds and a directive to improve the standard of Design in the West. One of the two main categories they consider is - design for need. From what Mr Russell was saying, R.I.B. fits into this and I feel it should be explored further.
Link between Broome and the RIB project
The inclusion of this section is important to me for personal and social reasons. It indicates an underlying continuity of my work as an artist and the relationships with people over the years.
The artist in residence created the opportunity for Mr. Jimmy Chi from Broome to once again, in a practical way, assist me morally and physically put together the exhibition. Just as he had done in Adelaide at the Centre Gallery with the Kimberley Community Arts Exhibition 1981. Jimmy and Glenys actively helped me in the fabric-printing workshop at R.I.B.
I had written a letter to Nancy Francis in Broome to say that although had reached Perth we could not make it back up to see her this time. I was sorry that our kids could not visit her. I invited Nancy to the opening of the exhibition. Nancy, who I dearly call "Nana" is a great great grandmother an Aboriginal matriarch, over eighty years young ". She cared for me for many years in Broome). Nana jumped in a bus, and traveled the 1600 miles to Perth to be with us for the opening. It was very special to me. The attendance of Nancy and Jimmy were my high point of the exhibition.
DINGO DELIVERIES AND THE BRIXTON RIOTS - The "Arts" as a lifesaver
I had run an Arts/Trucking Business in Broome called 'Dingo Deliveries'. From Nancy I learnt that another of my partners from Dingo .Deliveries had died this year. The weekend of my exhibition I also learnt that one of my young workers had suicided.
In Perth, I had many hours of discussion with Nancy and Jimmy about the social and economical complications in Broome leading to the depressing situations resulting in recent deaths of two of our partners in DD.
Jimmy went on to explain to me at length how artists were sent in to improve the situation in Brixton in England, after the Brixton Riots. Jimmy was saying that what we were doing in Broome was similar, only years ahead. That the impetus for it, the Broome Arts Group Aboriginal Corporation that we had begun, was still going.
RESOLVE: - SCREENPRINTING PRINTING AS A COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT TOOL
As result of these discussions I resolved to persist in integrating, adapting and promoting the multiple image making potential of Screen Printing as an integrative Community Development tool. The longer I worked here at R.I.B., I realised that it could profitably utilise its space and facilities to become a base for country areas as a network for screen print supplies and the marketing of rural design products in the city. I felt a system could be devised, for maximizing the versatility of this multi-application, image-making craft, which may be more positively integrated, and self sustaining than the current C.Y.S.S., & PEP, schemes. Such a system needs to be meaningful, viable, and more attractive than the negative drug and alcohol syndrome programs, that I intimately experienced in aboriginal communities. I feel that we went some way towards resolving these problems through our work as the DD Arts/Trucking business in Broome with Jimmy Chi.
Exhibition attracted it's share of publicity; - photos in the press (impressed with Jill Crommelin's Article in W.A. Newspaper), interviews with Charles Southwood on ABC radio, and a slot on the Channel Seven Morning program. I hope that these exercises were beneficial to letting more people know about R.I.B. and its products. There was not enough promotion, due us not being in W.A. in the lead up. It was an aspect needing more attention in the future.
One new problem encountered a couple of days before the opening was in not being able to attach or hang anything from the walls in the Merlin Hotel. An idea was tossed around with Reg to knock up tall cane easels. Ray and Mitch put them together. Hooks were made up in Metal Workshop, and the problem was solved. The cane easels complemented the fabric covered cane furniture in the Exhibition.
The cutting of the Sheoak timber mounts to frame the large Fabric Design took ages. I feel that framing of paintings, especially as a service for large contemporary art works, could become a business for some physically handicapped people, (like it was for the hearing impaired apprentice who worked my framing)
Sighted people, especially visual artists, if approached through their Art groups and unions and art organisations could be patrons for such a custom framing service.
The Lord Mayor, Mr Mick Michael, gave a positive and complimentary address about my artwork. In his opening references ranged from the quality of the images, to the role of 19th century English critic Ruskin, and to acknowledgement of my involvement in linking community enterprise and the arts. The atmosphere at the opening was alive with talk, smiles and appreciative comment. People attended from all walks of life. Many surprise visitors from my Kimberley days were among them. I felt very much at home.
The exhibition was a triumph for all parties involved:
· Australiana Sales and Exports I for all their arrangements, contacts, and verve.
· Royal W.A. Institute for the Blind', for all their hard work and the receptiveness
· Janie, for all her work in both her contributions of skills from her years in advertising and her time spent in juggling with our kids.
· My parents and family for-backing us again.
Special thanks must go to John Harman. It was he, with his extraordinary insights and efforts, that was the catalyst to instigate something new, like an 'Artist in Residence' for a visual artist at the R.I.B.
At the opening, I was able to thank Mr. Ron Davies the Minister for the Arts who approved the funding for the Residency. It was nice to see Ms. Maureen Strauss from the W.A. Arts Council, in person, after all the STD negotiations in the lead up.
A SENSE OF CONNECTEDNESS
One element pervading the Opening was a sense of connection and commonality. An openness in the face-to-face familiarity of the first name chatter. Comments like, " 'X' attended school with the Minister 'Y' and 'Y' grew up with ....' It seemed to occur irrespective of each person's politics. I observed a sort of W.A. spirit of re-union among the older age group at the Opening. To me, this common grounding is geared towards understanding. This spirit seemed very constructive. I've never known of this open connective spirit in larger cities where the trend is towards anonymity and exclusivity.
In a global context, I feel that, by fostering this arena of commonality and integration locally, you will establish the climate for distinctive identity in Western Australian Art and Design.
Popularity, personal observation and interpretation about artworks in W.A.
I never expected my artworks would generate so many overtly popular and pleasurable responses. In past exhibitions, the role I assume as an artist is that of an explorer "rowing into new territory". I would normally bring back findings, which were rather more obscure. There would be a good chance that I would mystify the viewer. The artwork in this exhibition was simply interior decoration.
It was this territory of interior decoration that I had rowed into as an artist/explorer. If there was an artistic statement that I wanted to invoke with the exhibition, then it relates to an observation on a that my previous visit to Perth, when I felt that (consistent with the comfortable economic and social climate of the West), much of the painting that I have seen in W.A. over the decade was knowledgeable and dexterous interior decoration, confused with a modicum of mystification. Where was the hard earned exploration? My works at the exhibition were simply painterly Australian Flora and Fauna decoration, which was why they could be so popularly received. My thoughts were that maybe Artist/Explorers should be encouraged to explore and talented Artist/Decorators complimented for their Decorations. I feel strongly that as Artists we might open ourselves up to more experimentation and move away from the interpersonal mentally competitive race of deriving something 'original in painterly decoration before someone else comes up with something different and pips us at the post. Mindful of this, I felt that I should explore practical and creative responses to situations in which uniqueness exists, on its own right. These situations become the subjects for originality and the interpretation of a broader experience can inspire more painterly solutions and more vision.
'God save us from single vision' William Blake.
AS A TRIGGER AND A FORUM
All sorts of people came to see it. As Interior Designs, they could be received, at all levels. The animals in the designs are familiar to me through my exploits in the Kimberley, and commonly seen around our home, in bushland in Maroota in N.S.W. There is unlimited scope in the future for me to explore more sensitively, and come up with, unique designs, on site, from the bush.
I want to create a learning relationship (animal and habitat) in the designs. It appeared to be used this way in the exhibition. Hosts of overseas trade delegations would use the time to show international guests around the display. They would explain about each animal and its habitat. It was pleasing for me to see it happening. For many years I have spoken about the long term, role of the arts and tourism, arts and education, arts and health, etc.
Within the context of the exhibition I could discuss various matters with visible points of reference surrounding us. In most cases, many references to the incorporation of arts skills in community development could not be considered without the opportunity to show reference to the exhibition around us. In this way it was a form and trigger.
HOLISTIC APPROACH TO ART IN THE EXHIBITION.
The background of my work as an Artist is my interest in the Role of Arts in Community Education, Community Development, Preventive Health, Employment, and Appropriate Technology etc. These relate to societal shifts, which extend to consider everything as a whole.
The opportunity to exhibit with the R.I.B. enabled me to present a whole new arts practice, the images that were being looked at on 'the wall, were draped with the curtaining, and transposed onto the cane furniture. Where possible the original sketches were combined with the interiors.
The image the viewer was consciously sitting on wasn't exclusive to the panel on the wall. It patterned the whole environment of the rooms, in the Merlin Hotel.
Meaningfulness in the relationships to the whole environment in Aboriginal Culture (as was my understanding from being in the Kimberleys) encouraged me to respond, this way. It is the subject of my current paintings.
I had previously extended the painterly elements from my pictures onto seating objects with my exhibition at Praxis in 1975. I always felt viewers needed more time to experience pictures. In this case, I felt that a visually interrelated 'seat' would help.
THE EXHIBITION AS A FORUM AND A MAGNET
The multicultural arts officer brought Audrey to see me at the exhibition. For many years in India she had worked with the blind. She taught ceramics, tech drawing and other crafts.
Until a Blind person sketched a design for his home extensions on my notebook. I had never considered these illustrative activities being possible. It made me think further. The Fabric Printing Process could create many meaningful opportunities for the visually handicapped, particularly those like the Tech drawing spoken about by Audrey. I would like to know more about her teaching skills. Blind people still have vision.
WAIT Textile lecturer; Trudy Polard spent quite a time talking with me at the exhibition. Trudy was interested in the idea of a proposed fabric-printing workshop being set up at R.I.B. She could see a contribution from students as work experience and as a positive and productive function for Post Graduates.
At WAIT the sunlight exposure system and the photos emulsion process that I used was not known. They had a large plastic vacuum exposure bag, which I borrowed. No one has been known to use it. The students are tied into a more extravagant system of ARC lamps and darkrooms. These facilities are not readily available to students once they have left Arts school.
An Aboriginal women's art group from Pingelly in SW W.A., met with Trisha Gibson from A.S.E. and myself at the Exhibition discussing how I had run fabric printing workshops in Sydney for Aboriginal Women's Groups from Rural N.S.W. The R.I.B. is a venue, which could host many workshops.
Visits to the exhibition by people such as Chris Wells from Community Employment Initiatives, further opened up his thoughts about the potential of Fabric Printing as a community development tool.
It was very pleasing to receive the commendation from Mrs. Ella Fry Chairperson of the W.A. Arts Gallery Board, and from Mr Ray Sampson, head of the Art Education in W.A. was very impressed with my work. Both spent a lengthy time discussing and complimenting the philosophy behind the work.
The opening hours for the exhibition were something special. There was no closing time. Viewers could walk through by day and night at their leisure. The Merlin was spacious and tasteful. At their ease, viewers could sit and look at the work, while a quartet played below in the foyer. The Merlin management agreed to extend the exhibition for another week. When it came to the close of the exhibition I was asked to leave it up for at least another weekend. Many people were coming to see it. It was in both our interests. The staff of the Merlin was showing groups of visitors over the exhibits.
The space at the Merlin for exhibitions reinforced our confidence about the direction we were moving with our Fabric Printing business at Maroota. We haven't seen anyone working in the same way. Large areas can be covered with placements of design with lots of painting overlays, enabling the creation for large organic environments. Our future direction, seeks out contacts to design for large foyers of Hotels - Future Offices, Buildings - Government Public Relations Departments and in particular Australian consulates.
We are seeking joint ventures with R.I.B.- to design with their cane product or the deck chairs etc. We would like to design for a wing of a Hotel and so on. Such partnerships would be good promotion for sheltered workshops - and the corresponding publicity would give the place of business a heart. A hotel like the Merlin, by association in having contracted work from a sheltered workshop may indicate to others, that their business cares about the needs of others.
COMMUNITY ARTS IN WA
Whilst Artist in Residence I had other meetings, attending a Community Arts Network meeting, addressed by John Stanwell from the Community Arts Board of the Australia Council. I have a strong interest in the development of the W.A. network, having practised as a rural Artist in the early Seventies.
John spoke about how the network could apply to them for funding to offset the isolation of the state. I expressed a contrary view to the visitor, saying that the network does not suffer from isolation as such, but that the approach of the network should be one of seizing the opportunity to self-generate and to devise an independency in a self-sustaining network system of Community Arts. Becoming more self-supporting by integrating with other aspects of social development - and not looking at only getting a piece of the Art cake. I also expressed the concern that the Network should take on a 'Bare foot' approach to the Arts development, and to aspire to quality. Community Arts should not be separated off into another art form subordinate to a new arts bureaucracy category system. It should be field- based and encourage creative community enterprise.
LECTURE AT WAIT
I was invited to lecture at W.A.I.T. on their Wednesday Special Program by Julian Goddard.
My talk was about the Marriage of Grassroots Practice and current Academic Thinking (about Thomas Kuhn's the Paradigm Shifts). I endorsed the Barefoot Approach to Community Arts. I juxtaposed graphs of world economic cycles (Kondratiev Cycles) with my fieldwork from Broome. I introduced excerpts from the slides - with a video about the Mondragon Co-operative movement experiments. The video is about a system of co-operative economics operating over the past 25 years in Northern Spain, which is committed to the survival and development of the Basque culture of that region.
I feel that this video could be viewed by arts administrators, policy makers and Arts Institutions who are concerned about the future of their graduates, as a pragmatic method of long term Arts Development. 'I feel it is relevant to Aboriginal out station movements. I see it as a way of maximising the sum of community's assets. It may help get away from the charitable handout intermittent approaches of schemes e.g. C.E.P. to become more community entrepreneurial. It is very important to the future as pressure is put on Centralised Arts Grants bodies, and as the welfare cake gets more takers.
There was appreciative feedback from staff and students.
At the R.I.B. Reg Blight the accountant took most interest in the Fabric Printing Process. He once ran engraving firm and commercial screen printers. He sees the part that screen-printing can play at the institute. He is a very positive lateral thinking, multi skilled (young background), get in and do it person. We talked at length about the R.I.B. being a potential
Screen-print supplier to country areas.
Val in the furnishing department printed designs of her 'pug dog' named Winston, which I had drawn up for her. Val's demonstration was favorably looked upon by other staff at the R.I.B.
In reference to the meeting with Mr. Dickson 17-6-85, in this report, I put forward this proposal to R.I.B.
I) Set up a Fabric Printing facility to produce unique designs. They will be used for furnishing the cane products and other themes made at the Institute.
ii) Host a top designer from Australia or, an exchange Artist from overseas, as Artist in Residence. The person would establish an operating relationship, sensitive to the workings of the R.I.B. promotion and exploration of the unique qualities of Western Australian design is paramount.
The F.P. facility would attract attention and publicity to elevate the public appreciation and awareness of the contribution R.I.B. makes to the Blind and Disabled.
The Facility would fertilise creativity within the organization itself.
The relationships of the Visual Artist with the Blind. - and the accumulated art/design skills through the facility, would encourage more design to be adopted in all facets of R.I.B. Advertising of R.I.B. wares, with higher profile furnishings, would give more recognition to the hours of craft work in the cane furniture. It would re-establish a respect in the general public for a product that is long lasting. The move would be away from quantity to quality to offset the competition of Asian cane imports on the Domestic market. It would promote uniqueness, pride and esteem.
R.I.B. has the space available, and is looking for meaningful work for the disabled.
It also has the tradesman in the cabinet making and light engineering sections for construction of the equipment.
The Fabric Printing technique - particularly the photo emulsion process, is simple, professional and efficient. There is allot of visual impact as a result. This can make the R.I.B. a more attractive place to visit. With consent of those working at R.I.B. the displays and activities - such as the enormous floor mat looms, would make it a very attractive place for tours, and could be co-ordinated in a journey to Maylands Station Workshops.
Fremantle Arts Centre has a Fabric Printing Workshop and runs Arts Access for country areas. Having the back up facilities of the cabinetmaking and metal work departments and the showrooms, would make R.I.B. an attractive proposition to people from country areas. Groups like the Aboriginal Women from Pingelly, who approached us at the exhibition, saw benefit in the R.I.B. as a base for workshops. Australiana Sales and Exports are looking at marketing their work overseas.
The workshop would be by nature different from facilities at WAIT. It would have a low cost do it yourself approach. The Sunlight exposure - photo emulsion process is not taught at WAIT and is very relevant for potential use in country areas, and within the means of hobbyists.
WAIT could be interested in usage of the workshop as part of their courses for student work experience and postgraduate programs.
Displays would probably be incorporated into the R.I.B. Showrooms.
Working on site, the designer can more satisfactorily tailor designs to suit the cane furniture. Joint contracts between the designer and R.I.B. could be approached in the Interior Design area. more design imagery depicting W.A. character could stem from the workshops to meet the demand for America's Cups generated interests. The potential for export, coupled with the interests and contracts of Australiana Sales and Exports is a consideration.
Following my lecture at W.A.I.T, a Graphic Design student approached me, expressing her interest in being involved in the R.I.B workshop. She was a paraplegic, and asked whether I could do similar workshops at paraplegic centres which she said, were starved of creative activity. With the F.P. facility, R.I.B. could give a good service to other organisations. It would be possible for someone like the Deaf apprentice in Cabinetmaking who showed interest in the process to conduct workshops for the general public. It would be a good way to break down some of the barriers.
Mr Brian McKay, Deputy Chairman of W.A. Arts Board attended the meeting at R.I.B. Thursday 18th July. In a very business like way he clarified the values of a Fabric Printing Facility to Mr. Dickson. He suggested applying for funding from several government sources with a three-year plan. Sources include W.A. Arts Council and Australia Council.
Mrs. Andrea Kins - Community Arts officer with Mundaring Shire Council and Chairperson of C.A.N.W.A. has offered to help with the submission writing.
TYPE OF FACILITY AT R.I.B.
Modifications to lighting ventilation and plumbing.
Long Fabric Tables with registration devices
Storage for screens, Darkroom Storage
Drafting board Layouts and design area
I feel that it could be budgeted into the submission, for the R.I.B. cabinet making and metal work sections to manufacture the equipment in the process of making it, the various accountants and advisers to the R.I.B. could look at manufacturing items to become suppliers of Fabric Printing equipment. In being suppliers, R.I.B. could look at creating a market in decentralised areas,' encouraging the fabric printing as a Community Enterprise initiative. In this way, existing Screen Print Suppliers would not be offended, and it would lie within the aims of the charter of the R.I.B. to be fostering this sort of activity.
I would propose that R.I.B. becomes the base for this activity in a network of suppliers and marketing and do it yourself information.
The types of equipment that I could see them making are in the cabinet making section: a range of silk screens - fabric tables exposure units - squeegees.
In metal work stretching pliers T-Shirt Jigs, Registration devices stretching machines
As Suppliers, R.I.B. already has accounts with firms for furnishing fabrics. There would be a lot of turn over of consumables. It would be invaluable for country areas to know where they can get materials and equipment and advice.
R.I.B. could stock bolts of silk for stretching screens. Bulk medium to be mixed with pigment for containerizing as the fabric dyes.
R.I.B. has experience in importing. They could bulk import photo emulsion from Japan to be split into containers and so on. In this way there is a lot of purchasing, which could create more work for handicapped.
My understandings of this area stem from having a friend who has built up a Screen Print Supply Business in Sydney. I involved him when I ran workshops in F.P. for Aboriginal Women from three rural towns in N.S.W. Having lived for many years in country areas I was aware of the needs of arts and craft groups. I feel that as suppliers with a sound network, R.I.B. could do much for creative development in Country Areas in the same way, using the network; country areas could produce design distinctive to W.A., which have market potential. R.I.B. with its showrooms, and the Fabric Workshops could be an entrepreneurial catalyst and be an, important link in encouraging self sustaining arts activity in those areas through running training workshops, on site refresher courses and updates in techniques and materials, and advice even as far as accounts for community groups and marketing procedures. R.I.B. could host a very worthy network. The Network would also show how the Fabric Process fits in with furniture festivals, tourism and so on.
A manual of information on low cost do it yourself techniques and materials could be developed.
As Allen, the painter/decorator handyman said to me - that it could go further, where R.I.B. could modify a truck to go out and do demonstrations and carry supplies and return with items for the show rooms or export and so on.'