Cairns area is now one of the most exciting regions for printmaking in Australia. InkMasters, established in 2011, has been instrumental in making this happen. InkMasters has an exciting and full programme of events throughout the year. It includes international, national and local exhibitions which promote the work and careers of regional artists, as well as skills-development workshops and community engagement activities.
The now famous InkFest, a biennial festival of printmaking, was held again in 2016, its third production with 30 individual activities. The standout event of InkFest is the InkMasters Print Exhibition, a tour de force of original prints from international, national and regional artists both indigenous and non-indigenous. It is held at the Tanks, one of the most celebrated venues in Northern Australia, situated beside the tropical Flecker Botanic Gardens.
InkMaster’s promotes cultural and linguistic diversity, equality, Indigenous Australian arts and cultures and collaboration between them. ‘Sapur’ is by Elizabeth Hunter as non-iondigenous artist and Joel Sam from Torres Strait Islands, and first joint work by InkMasters. It depicts a fruit bat. This bat is encrypted with the story of its every day existence in the detail of its wings: its food, the natural dangers of which it has to be in a constant state of alert to survive. Elizabeth works in a western traditional style using mezzotint and etching techniques to create the Sapur, and Joel uses his unique style of rendering the leafy back ground in a traditional habitat.