Negative Press is an independent publisher of exclusive, limited-edition prints by contemporary Australian artists. This modern publisher occasionally holds exhibitions, showing the work that has been produced over a given period. Trent Walter is creator of this pioneering business, a Melbourne-based printmaker, author and printer. Walter has worked with many prolific artists such as Emily Floyd, Danica Miller and Brook Andrew – an Australian Wiradjuri artist who is propelled by entangled stories of colonialism and Aboriginal taboos through history.
‘The Year 11 VCE and IB art classes had the chance to visit Negative Press, an independent studio owned and run by Trent Walker. We were fortunate to work with Trent as well as Mellissa Bedford from Monash University Museum of Art. Throughout our time working with them we quickly developed the skills and techniques for making prints as well as collaborating with our peers to create our ‘What Do We Demand?’. Working in groups, we created provocative posters including phrases such as ‘Everything is rising’. While at Trent’s studio, we learnt about how to create prints with paste up and photo emulsion techniques which helped us to create engaging work. Trent and Mellissa encouraged us to experiment with our work, and to use different fonts and colours and the change layout of our work. The experience taught us a lot and while at school we have continued to work with Melissa and Trent furthering our understanding of the process and continuing to design more works related to our chosen issues.’
Lily, Year 11 VCE Art
‘We were taught how to collaborate and become adaptable in unfamiliar situations through the Artist in Residence program, as well as allow our ideas to flow, becoming something wonderous. The concept I chose for my screen-printing process was men’s mental health, and how it’s still viewed as taboo despite us being in the 21st century. I created a 1980s-inspired, horror-themed poster advertising a make-believe movie about men’s mental health, and how it’s ‘taboo!’, with a key point of the poster stating, ‘if he’s a real man, why is he crying?!’. Trent helped me to create a final artwork on Adobe Illustrator, expertly suggesting a few pointers to allow the quality and vibe of the image to show through in the final print. Overall, Trent Walter was a milestone in Carey’s Artist in Residence program, through his pure innovation and ability to help others build their imaginations.’
Pepa, Year 11 VCE Art
‘The Artist in Residence program and the Masterclass excursions allowed students to experience the environment of artists working in their studio and view some works that had been produced in the space. Throughout the creative process on the excursion, students discussed the significance of how shapes and patterns were arranged on the print to convey meaning. We experimented with overlaying prints and printing methods such as photo emulsion and paste ups. Being immersed in the studio environment allowed us to use new equipment and experiment with our art, all while being guided by a professional.’
Amelie, Year 11 VCE Art