WATCH: Cap Coast artists making impression in New York
JULIE Barratt's Blair Athol Uncut draws parallels with contemporary issues, while revisiting her past.
Raised on a property just outside Australia's largest open cut mine of the day, Julie returned only recently with her mother for what would become an 18-month journey towards her completed artwork.
Now, Blair Athol Uncut will transcend both the Central Queensland town and her home in Lammermoor, to take its place among Julie's global peers in the Central Booking Gallery during the annual New York Print Week.
The artist and Rockhampton Art Gallery curator was invited to both submit her own and curate artworks from eight Australian printmakers which offer a sample of "multicultural Australia”.
Joining Julie throughout the October 31 to November 6 event is local artist Maaret Sinkko, who Julie describes as a "prolific local Yeppoon artist”, whose paintings, prints and artists books would soon be showcased in a solo exhibition in Brisbane.
She explained her own background was Scottish Australian, and Maaret's was European, but the diversity extended beyond lineage to the art form itself.
"We've got so many amazing print makers in Yeppoon, all of our work is diverse,” she said.
"We have bright fluorescents, digital prints, sienna, photographic etchings and wood block prints.
"It's just a sample though of what we do.”
Julie said though she had worked in the arts for about two decades, her passion for print ignited after she graduated from university in Lismore. She explained Blair Athol Uncut began as a project to highlight the decimation of her hometown, which was relocated to make way for Rio Tinto's open cut mine.
During the process though, she uncovered her own family history.
"I started going through the library archives I found these ads my dad had written to the local paper out there saying 'We don't want these mines, it's going to ruin my children's lifestyle',” she said. "I found an interview he had done about the town moving and I started to find this information that was much more personal to my family and that's when I said to mum, 'I think we need to go out there'.”
Of print making itself, Julie said she loved the "tactile and hands on medium”.
She said while she was excited her work would "hold its own” in New York, she anxiously awaited the opportunity to network with other artists and collectors.
"Hopefully for Maaret and I, it also gives us as artists an opportunity to have a look at what else is happening in the world of print globally,” she said.
"So it's really an amazing opportunity as Australians just to be able to have an opportunity to get that exposure to contemporary print making.”