Mokuhanga translates from Japanese to mean “woodcut” – it is an ancient printmaking technique most recognisable in the work The Great Wave of Kanagawa by Hokusai.
A Mokuhanga print’s advantage, as opposed to other examples of printmaking (etching/lithography etc), is its process in which no press or workshop is necessary, instead, printing is done by hand.
This process allows artists to stay in their communities, or not, the beauty is that they have the choice once the skills are acquired.
This project helps bring awareness towards the importance of culture and connection to country for social and emotional well being in Indigenous communities. By broadcasting what artists are capable of and the story of the Cool Change through social media this project hopes to encourage the public to get behind supporting improvement of vital mental health foundations for the First Peoples of Australia. Strong support is imperative as it leads to a wider audience.
To make a Mokuhanga print, paper dampness is imperative. Therefore, this project endeavours to create a working space that wouldn’t be possible without the kind donation from our official supporters, Breathe Bell Tents. Their beautiful canvas transportable abodes will provide the project with the perfect hub of humidity, to contrast from dry season conditions out bush. This is what makes the project (literally) a Cool Change! This is a studio space that will be temporary and transportable, creative and experimental, a bit wet and pretty cool! This project gives artists access to traditional Japanese woodblock printing workshops, to further explore their already established practice and with the possibility of making work out on land. http://www.belltent.com.au/
Borroloola, Gunbalanya, Jabiru, Maningrida, Ngukurr, Nhulunbuy, Ramingining, to list only a few communities that could have a Cool Change. All art centres involved will be left with a set of professional Mokuhanga carving tools so artists may continue to practice. Once works are resolved, financial responsibility for sales will be taken care of by the artist’s nominated arts centre.
Two prints from the project will be donated to the Cool Change project to be entered for exhibition at Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair and the International Mokuhanga Conference in Hawaii in 2017.