08 Aug Impressions of Identity and Culture with Self-Help Graphics and Art
In Spring 2022, the Fowler co-designed a block-printing workshop with Self Help Graphics and Art (SHG), inspired by the Fowler exhibition Aboriginal Screen-Printed Textiles from Australia’s Top End. This workshop was hosted in different neighborhoods of Los Angeles and enjoyed by various communities.
SHG invited teaching artist Marianne Sadowski (see her statement below) to lead the two-hour workshops intended for ages 6+, in which participants designed bandanas printed with their own carved blocks. The first workshop was held at Sovern, an intersectional community center in West Adams. Participants were encouraged to take inspiration from Aboriginal artists and use images connected to nature, the environment, symbols of their culture, and abstract depictions of their individual and/or cultural identity. They learned how to carve their images on blocks and print them multiple times to achieve the desired effect on their bandanas. Participants mixed their own colors and reflected on the importance and symbolism of color as a means of expression.
See their creations and written reflections below:
Lead Artist Statement
Marianne Sadowski is a visual artist and art educator born and raised in Mexico City. Her socially engaged art practices reflect her concern for social justice and humanity. Elements of nature are always present in her art and often work as symbols to convey the fine line of life itself. Sadowski is an active member of Mono Gráfico Colectivo, whose mission is to push the boundaries in printmaking; the Los Angeles Printmaking Society; Southern Graphics Council; Consejo Gráfico, a network of workshops that promote Latino printmaking in the United States; and the Artist Advisory Board at Self Help Graphics and Art. She lives and works in Los Angeles.
Sadowski has been teaching art for over 25 years in museums, schools, and non-profit organizations. Her art has been exhibited internationally, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Oaxaca, Mexico; the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago; University of Notre Dame, Indiana; Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin, Texas; Los Angeles International Airport; and Self Help Graphics and Art, among others venues.
About the Exhibition
Aboriginal Screen-Printed Textiles from Australia’s Top End (December 5, 2021–July 10, 2022) presents more than 70 distinctive, screen-printed textiles made by contemporary artists at five Aboriginal-owned art centers. These textiles have become a vibrant medium for Indigenous expression, perpetuating traditional knowledge, reinvigorating its visual manifestations, and enabling Indigenous artists to share their cultures and identities while providing them with a sustainable livelihood. The exhibition reminds us of the enduring connections between peoples and their lands.