Big Fag Press


Archived entries for Friends in Print

Share a plate with Mirra Whale, for delicious prints

We’re excited over here at the Big Fag Press, as we managed to secure Mirra Whale for our next printing workshop in the Share a Pl8 series, so good, book your place today.

Share a plate with Mirra

Share a plate with Mirra

 

Mirra is most famous for her exquisite drawings, portraiture (see here for her selection for the Archibald last year) and big scale prints of weeds, and she will join the Big Fag team for  a small numbers/high attention time. Learn how to create a beautiful artwork inspired by the long standing tradition of still life. Here’s a selection of drawings, etchings and aquatints form Mirra’s hands:

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The Daughter’s Project Responding to global #genderviolence

tammy brennan daughters zine big fag press

Tammy Brennan is a writer and performance artist who creates music theatre work about the lived experience of gender violence and sexual trauma. You can see some of her previous work on vimeo.

The Daughters Opera is a piece of collaborative contemporary music theatre about gender violence in the 21st century. It is currently being produced by Sydney-based performance artist Tammy Brennan, between Australia and India. A powerful monodrama that spans a massive emotional terrain, the audience enter a mythic realm engulfed by fear, condemnation, sacrifice and ritual directed by acclaimed Indian theatre artist Anuradha Kapur.

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Proud printers

Heya,

right now Brenda May Gallery there’s an exhibition of prints, books, photographs and sculptural objects: Multiples.
Curated by art historian and independent curator, Akky van Ogtrop, and featuring two sets of prints produced on the Big Fag Press: Zoë Sadokierski Typewriters series -see here for the feature page on our site- and Victor De Sousa, Narelle Jubelin, Fiona MacDonald and Maria Madeira’s ‘Elastic/Borracha/Elastico’ – see here for an article by Jo Holder on the process and scope behind the suite of prints.

-Victor-De-Sousa,-Narelle-Jubelin,-Fiona-MacDonald,-Maria-Madeira,-Elastic-Borracha-Elastico-

On until the 4th of July, see here for more details>

Big Fag at Bundanon

The Big Fag crew is a bunch of busy buddies, lost in their lives, work, practice and preoccupation. We seldom get together under the same roof for longer than a print run. Thankfully there is places that offer artist’s retreats, like Bundanon Trust, a couple of hours south of Sydney, where artists and artist collectives can take refuge from their busy lives and concentrate on one task only: catch up!

wayzgoose

In the industry when a bunch of printmakers get together for a catch up, a print, and a feast is called a Wayzgoose, and that’s what we did. We printed, cooked for each others, went through an alarming amount of discussions and paperwork and over all enjoyed the beautiful settings>>

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Making business cards as good neighbours practice

Here at the ‘ducts there are several organisations, and as we settling in the neighbourhood we became friends with all of them. Some are open during the day, some at night, some on weekends.
We have the local Australian Football League, the Glebe Greyhounds, the Glebe District Hockey Club , a community band rehearsal room, Glebe Music Project, the local grounds keeper for the Jubilee Park oval, and the Pyrmont Ultimo Glebe Mens Shed.

Mok with the red plate

Mok with the red plate

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Bayu Widodo Exhibition at Big Fag Press

bayu exhibition big fag press

CETAK SARANG ATTACK #1 – A travelling exhibition and printmaking event. (Cetak Sarang means “Screen-printing”!)

Click here for the Facebook event page.

During the past month, celebrated Indonesian printmaker Bayu Widodo has been artist in residence at Footscray Community Arts Centre in Melbourne, and Megalo Print Studio in Canberra.

Now, join us at Big Fag Press in Sydney for Bayu’s last Aussie hurrah before he heads back home to Yogyakarta, “The Berlin of Asia”.

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Intern at Big Fag Press

 

As part of my study abroad semester I’m doing an internship at a place called the Big Fag Press. An awesome networking connection got me exposed to this fabulous space, and I’m just beginning to get my hands dirty.

First, the machine itself is an offset printer. A classical Swiss printer with obscure buttons, ink rollers and dusty typed up instructions. This is the Big Fag Press. The clever owners obtained this machine when an unfortunate print company went belly up. At auction time the winning bid of $50 gave the machine new owners and a new space.

The garage of the Big Fag Press sits under the tracks of the light rail line in Glebe with doors that open out to a fabulously fresh and green cricket lawn called the Jubilee Oval. Previously the Big Fag Press was operated in another space but this new garage provides nice breathing room for the machine. The garage feels like a mix between metalhead tool shed and grandparent attic with plastic crate shelving, carts stacked with papers, and art prints stored nonchalantly in metal drawers. A series of metal shelves stack fancy dripping cans of ink colours waiting for use. You can smell a passion for print.

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Would you like to volunteer with us?

John Demos, Tim Barbarino, Lucas Ihlein, Kris Tito, Louise Anderson and Diego Bonetto at the end of John Demos' Accessible Arts Residency at the Big Fag Press, The Cross Art Projects, Kings Cross

John Demos, Tim Barbarino, Lucas Ihlein, Kris Tito, Louise Anderson and Diego Bonetto at the end of John Demos’ Accessible Arts Residency at the Big Fag Press, The Cross Art Projects, Kings Cross

The Big Fag Press is an artist –run –initiative and much of the time, it is a labour of love rather than money. We’re always on the lookout for volunteers or people looking for long term work- placement situations about one or two days per week for several months.

It may seem like a strange organisation to come and work with, but because it is a very small operation, you will get hands-on experience in many areas.

We welcome interest from people who would like to develop skills in:

  • Administration and project management for the arts

  • Media strategy and marketing, including social media

  • Day to day website and online store maintenance

  • Graphic design, branding and promotion

  • Photography and short video making

  • Pre-press and offset lithographic print-making

  • Learning the operations of an Artist–Run–Initiative

You need to be:

  • Friendly, open-minded and willing to work as part of a team

  • Independent and not afraid to take on new tasks

  • Able to work in a collaborative environment

  • Driven and enthusiastic

  • Organised and punctual

  • Willing to accept our anti-bullying and anti-discrimination policy

You will get:

  • Hands on experience in any area of the operation you wish to

  • A friendly, happy team to work with

  • The opportunity to network within the arts community

  • General mentorship from people in the art world

  • A reference

You may like to read this blog post on her internship at the Big Fag by our now Associate Partner, Louise Kate Anderson. Her work at the Big Fag has aided her arts administration and project management skills, and led to many other opportunities such as being on the board of Runway Australian Experimental Art, working as Exhibition Assistant for Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2013 and being a panellist in an Accessible Arts’ forum at the MCA about Supported Studio Networks.

If interested please send us an email at info@bigfagpress.org or just come to our Big FAG O Day on June 7>9

Printing botanical illustrations ON botanical specimens>> how post-modern :)

 

Yes indeed, I thought this to be quite a nice spin off adding yet another successful experiment to our portfolio.

The artwork in question is being printed as one of the reward for a crowd funding campaign by the team at Wild Stories.

A stock of hand made paper was produced by PaperGoRound, containing seeds of common edible weeds. The peculiarity of this paper is that effectively, if you would plant it, would GROW!

This paper was then printed with a set of 4 illustrations by Mirra Whale, depicting the plant whose seeds are imbedded in the paper.

The results are stunning, and if you think they are as worthy of appreciation as much as the campaign is worthy of support, please do head to the link here to get either a single one or the full set>> http://pozible.com/wildfoodmap

News from the centre of the Universe

dafi kuhne with his fag press

Dafi Kuhne is an artist and printmaker in Switzerland – at the heart of Mordor, so to speak, in terms of the FAG corporation.

We’ve been corresponding with Dafi for a few years now. Users of FAG machines tend to look out for each other and enjoy hearing that other FAGs are still trucking along, all around the world.

Dafi uses letterpress rather than offset, and he has created a website to celebrate the letterpress side of the FAG empire.

In his blog entry, which I’ve cut and pasted below, he kindly makes a concession to us, including our FAG OP-104 offset proofing press in his canon of classic heavy metal machines.

Dafi found and used the video below – which shows Dr Greg Turner, a big fan of the Big Fag, helping to print DJ Spooky‘s print Nauru Elegies.

(More info on the print with DJ Spooky here).

Cheers to you and your letterpress children, Dafi, from your lithographic brothers in Sydney.
– – –

Brothers in mind in Sydney, Australia
by Dafi Kuhne.

FAG did not only make letterpress cylinder proof presses but also flatbed offset proof presses. Already in 1972 (the same year they developed the Swiss Proof Presses!) they released their first offset proof press: The ‹FAG Offsetpress 7654›. In 1977 they released the bigger ‹FAG OP-104›, a 4.5 meters long, 3.5 tons heavy flatbed offset proof press in that could fit 70x100cm sheets. The press came with two interchangeable complete inking units including its motors and wash-up units. This inking system made 4 color proofs much easier and faster to handle, since the time consuming washing of there rollers is carried out outside the press. This massive press was a big success and sold to all five continents until the late 80ies.

New quality control tools and the first inkjet proof systems made the use of more expensive offset proofs obsolete and so FAG moved its efforts towards quality control in the aspect of all kinds of densitometers for offset production presses.

The point where this chapter about FAG offset proof presses ends is the point where the story of ‹Big FAG Press› in Sydney begins… In 2004 four artists from Sidney could buy an old FAG OP-104 for the nominal value of $50 at an auction.

They say on their webpage: «In 2004, one unfortunate printer in Sydenham (an inner-Sydney suburb) didn’t see this change coming, and went bust. The liquidation auction was very sad. Nobody wanted his equipment despite the large number of print professionals in the room. Instead, they just picked over the carcasses of his office furniture. Having received a tip off from our local Master Printer, Jens Hausch, Big Fag Press attended the auction and placed the winning (and only) bid on the big beautiful FAG 104 Offset Proof Press. Our bid was fifty dollars.»

You can see in the video that the offset plate is on the right side – laying flat. Then the cylinder (including the watering system and some ink rollers) rolls over the plate to the right side. With this process the rubber blanket on the cylinder picks up the ink. On its way back the rubber blanket applies the ink to the sheet laying flat on the left side. You can also see that the offset plate is not mirrored – of course, it’s offset! And even the guy in the video says: «Its magic!»

Until now, the www.proofpress.ch Webpage is limited to registrations of letterpress proof presses – but maybe soon be opened to studios/artists working with FAG flatbed offset proof presses…



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