The head of the School of Art’s Printmedia and Drawing workshop says she’s looking forward to continuing the studio’s legacy of producing some of the best quality artists and artwork possible.
Alison Alder, an alumna of the School and one of the first to graduate when the printmaking studio began, says she is thrilled to come full circle and return to ANU following decades of experience in various roles across Australia.
“I’m very happy to be here, it’s really exciting, there’s a lot of potential,” she says.
Since graduating from the art school Alder has, amongst other things, worked in the Northern Territory and spent 10 years in Sydney at the poster-making workshop Redback Graphix.
Most recently she was the Artistic Director of Megalo Print Studio in Kingston, working with professional artists, community groups, and organisations such as the Alexander Maconochie Centre in the ACT and Wave Hill community from the NT.
She has also worked closely with the National Gallery of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, the Australian War Memorial and the ANU School of Art.
“My goals are to build on the substantial and wonderful work that’s been done already in the Printmedia and Drawing workshop,” she says.
“This school has a fabulous reputation with a great staff cohort and some amazing alumni. I hope that I can build on that reputation.”
Alder says after working at Megalo Print Studio for six years, it was the right time to hand the baton over to successors.
“I certainly was not feeling tired about Megalo. In fact there’s so much more opportunity for that organisation. But it is good to hand over to a younger generation who will continue to build on Megalo’s substantial legacy,” she says.
“My role now is to bring the substantial networks and experience that I have made over my 30-year career as an artist, which are not just mainstream but diverse, into the art school.”
It’s that diverse art background and the connections made outside of the university sector that she says she would like to bring to the workshop for student benefit.
Alder also says that one of her goals will be to encourage students to try all avenues to career progression, inside and outside of the mainstream sector to achieve career success.
“A big part of my working life has always been working with other people,” she says.
“Printmaking can be a collaborative endeavour and I’ve always had a lot of people working around, with or alongside me. I hope to bring that element of collaborative research into the workshop as the production of art is not a hierarchical sort of thing.
“We’re all working together to create the best possible learning environment which will, through the art produced by students and graduates, reflect the rich diversity of experience and culture found in Australia.”