Barbie Kjar – Recipient of the 2019 James Northfield Lithography Scholarship

In News October 25, 2019

Congratulations to Barbie Kjar who has been awarded the 2019 Australian Print Workshop James Northfield Lithography Scholarship.

Since 2015, Australian Print Workshop has partnered with the James Northfield Heritage Art Trust to offer a scholarship program to honour the art of the late James Northfield and the practice of lithography. James Northfield was among the most highly regarded poster designers working in Australia in the first half of the 20th century. The scholarship is awarded annually to contemporary women artists and printmakers who wish to develop their practice in the area of lithography in an attempt to redress an imbalance in the career opportunities for women artists practising in Australia.

In fine art the term lithograph, or lithography, comes from Greek, meaning ‘writing with stone’. Lithography is noted for its ability to capture fine detail and subtle differences in shading. In this printmaking process, the artist draws the desired image directly onto a flat limestone surface using a greasy medium such as a special ink, known as tusche, or a litho crayon or pencil. When the drawing is complete it is fixed with a heavy syrupy solution of gum arabic and a small quantity of nitric acid. The gum arabic seals the drawing against the water applied during printing. Because of the mutual repulsion of grease and water, when the oil-based printing ink is rolled over the surface the ink will only adhere to the grease-receptive image area and not to the wet stone. The drawing is then transferred perfectly to paper.

Enabled by the professional lithography facilities and equipment at the Australian Print Workshop, Barbie is currently experimenting with this medium. The resultant works will be included in a group exhibition at the Australian Print Workshop Gallery early next year.

For more information about the James Northfield Scholarship, click here.