Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rad '80s posters

I went along to an opening at Megalo tonight curated by a mate of mine as part of his museum studies course. Megalo is a printmaking workshop in Canberra that got started by some young arty types in the '80s. They started off in a room at Ainslie Village using an old kitchen exhaust fan to extract fumes created by their screenprinting projects. Megalo has matured since then into a Canberra institution - still a starving arts organisation, but with more room, equipment and regular government funding. Joel and his collaborator Ange have selected 40 fab screenprinted posters made in the '80s. They address environmental concerns, political issues, nuclear protest posters etc. The show is a great little snapshot of a political and social moment in Canberra's history.

It was fascinating for me to be reminded of images I was surrounded by as a high school student. It was great to see a poster for the Bitumen river gallery - the first place I encountered contemporary art as a teenager and to see a poster listing George Washingmachine and the Dead Wringers headlining a local gig. There is a great raw energy in these images - it has that '80s protest punk kinda feel - and interesting to see how many of the same issues we are still grappling with twenty years later.

Anyone in Canberra check it out - it runs until 30 June.

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