What’s about to unfold at Queensland College of Art in Brisbane.
Griffith University is planning to “withdraw” all printmaking courses from its offerings from Jan 2021 as a part of its response to the Coronavirus pandemic. This is despite the viability of the print program even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. By withdrawing these courses Griffith is able to declare all resources (staff and equipment) associated with the delivery of them “surplus to requirements”. Printmaking is one of four studios on the chopping block. Jewellery & Small Objects, Documentary Photo Practice and Commercial Photography are the other three. While the university is reducing its staff numbers by 8.3%, the losses in Fine Art and Photography will equate to a minimum loss of 45% of the teaching and technical staff. QCA staff were ambushed by the proposal and the rational for choosing Print, Jewellery & Small Objects studios remains obscured. Having been advised of these plans on Monday the 2nd of November we now have three weeks to respond.
As the last dedicated Printmaking program in QLD the detrimental impact on the printmaking and artists book communities here will be irretrievable, especially in the current tertiary education environment. The opportunity for emerging and established artists from these communities to develop the conceptual strength of their print practice together with the technical proficiency they need will be lost to Brisbane and Qld.
This is a repeat of what unfolded at James Cook University as Anneke Silver has shared in a post on the community facebook page established to build a response to Griffiths planned cuts. QCA print studios offer, Relief, Letterpress, Intaglio, Lithography, Silkscreening, Papermaking, artists books and many associated digital processes such as laser engraving.
QCA staff are planning our response. The Printmaking and broader art communities (student and public) have mobilised and are planning their response, see below.
An invitation – a call to action to prevent what Shasha Grishin has described as
1 damage to the whole structure of arts education in Australia,
2 an enormous blow to printmaking and artists books practice in Australia,
3 the irretrievable loss of the historical and successful Print(making) studios at QCA, the most important institutional printmaking workshop north of Sydney.
If you will – please;
sign the petition addressed to Griffith University council requesting this proposal be abandonded. – http://chng.it/L4NhmZnynR