The Southern Highlands Printmakers (SHP) is based in the Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia centred around the towns of Mittagong and Bowral. The group was formed in 1993 to foster printmaking in the area, and since it’s inception has exhibited regularly developing a particularly effective working relationship with the Sturt Gallery, part of the Sturt Australian Contemporary Craft and Design Centre at Mittagong, NSW, as well as with nearby regional galleries.
We currently have 28 exhibiting members and try to maintain membership at around this number. Over the years the SHP has built an enviable reputation for quality and innovation with members exhibiting widely - locally, nationally and internationally. Many also teach printmaking in tertiary fine arts courses and adult education programs.
Unlike many more recently established groups, the SHP does not have a physical base nor does it offer workshops on a regular basis. Rather the focus is on fostering opportunities for practicing artists for whom printmaking is an important part of their work. The emphasis is on mutual support for each other’s professional practice, organizing exhibitions of members’ work and developing links to other printmaking groups both in Australia and further afield.
In 2009, for example, the SHP initiated an international print exchange with print groups in Queensland, Wales and Hawaii. The portfolio of prints has been exhibited in the UK and Hawaii as well as different venues in Australia and full sets are now in the collections of the Australian National Gallery, Canberra, the National Museum of Wales and Rockhampton Regional Gallery in Queensland.
Our group recently celebrated their 21st anniversary with ‘Exchange’ an exhibition and print portfolio exchange between 26 member artists of the Southern Highlands Printmakers. An anniversary catalogue accompanied the exhibition which was first exhibited at Sturt Gallery Mittagong NSW followed by another showing at the Megalo Gallery Canberra ACT