Your free what's on guide to the top end

Art & About: Drift

Anne McMaster has spent the last three months as Artist in Residence (AIR) at Tactile Arts’ Printmaking Studio. This month, her exhibition Drift opens. Anna Dowd caught up with her for a chat.

For those who haven’t seen your amazing work yet, how would you introduce yourself?
I’m originally from Victoria and have been living in the NT for 10 years. I’m a lover of all things creative and an artist who turns to the natural world for inspiration.

The aesthetic of the Top End’s tropical coast has been an enduring theme in your work – when did this start?
When I was living on the Tiwi Islands 10 years ago, on Melville Island. The alluring freshness of the island’s coastal habitat was the subject of my Master of Fine Art, completed in 2015.

How did the idea of your exhibition, Drift, come about?
I’d visit the neighbouring Maritime Gallery at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and was drawn to a little boat, I believe was designed on the Shetland Islands – a fitting link to my Scottish ancestry.

The term “drift” fabricated a notion of movement, of coming and going, of floating on water, air, of journeys, and even dreaming.

How did days unfold during your residency?
I initially documented ideas and research in a visual diary, made plates, then progressed to the printing press to make prints. I’d start with a deliberately open plan that would ‘drift’ into more concrete methodology as the day progressed.

The Tactile Arts Artist in Residence program is the longest running AIR in the NT. What have you enjoyed most about the experience?
Having time and space to create a new body of work, and an exhibition as the end point, really focused me.

I’ve developed a deeper sense of enquiry into my printmaking habits and enjoyed meeting other artists in their studios.


Drift
WHEN FRI 18 SEP – SUN 4 OCT
AT TACTILE ARTS
INFO tactilearts.org.au

If you’re interested in the Tactile Arts’ Artist in Residence program, applications are open until Wed 30 Sep. Visit their website for the juicy deets!

Thumbnail & header (detail) & inset: Anne McMaster, 'Tidal zone', 2020, etching & embossing on paper, 15x56cm

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