This weekend marks the final chance for art collectors to pick up a piece they love at Townsville’s well-loved Compact Prints Auction.
The hammer will fall at Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts’ biennial Compact Prints International Print Exhibition, Exchange & Auction on Sunday, 2 October.
Established in 2002, the initiative has developed over the past 20 years, including weathering the effects of COVID in recent iterations.
In 2020, the physical auction night moved to a digital platform, allowing the auction to continue online. This year, with restrictions eased, Umbrella Studio returned to a physical exhibition of works, allowing patrons to visit the gallery and place bids in a silent auction.
The digital online auction has allowed interstate and international bidders to take part in the event.
Attracting International Artists
Umbrella Studio’s Gallery Manager and Curator Daniel Qualischefski said the exhibition was still receiving entries from international artists despite the challenges of COVID restrictions.
“2004 was the first time we had international entrants for Compact Prints and we’ve had a number of years where there were tours and exhibitions through regional Queensland and then onto international tours,” says Daniel
“I think there’s been some hesitation because of COVID, especially around things (artwork) getting lost in the post, and people not having as much time and resources.
“We’re just happy that it’s still going, we’re still getting a strong number of entries and still getting those international entries.”
Motivating Local Artists
Townsville artist Lynn Scott-Cumming said while the shift to a digital platform had been a necessary survival mechanism, the Arts community was excited to return to a physical showing of the works.
“I think a lot of people get really quite excited by coming in and bidding and just watching the whole process,” says Lynn.
“Obviously, online has changed the event quite a bit. It’s very much a move for the artists involved. Being displayed in the studio is a chance to get together and, as an artist, it makes us work harder and motivates us.”
Lynn has been a part of the Compact Print Exchange and Auction since its inception. Her most current compact print, “Shadow Net”, is in this year’s exhibition.
“I’m inspired by the environment as my motivation and inspiration, which has remained the same over the last 20 years,” Lynn says.
“I’ve been working with birds and I’ve used all different textures and progressions in the work.”
The 2022 Compact Prints International Print Exhibition, Exchange and Auction is on display at Umbrella Studio until 2 October 2022.