The James Gleeson oral history collection

James Gleeson interviews Australia's major artists

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Peter Powditch

15 June 1979

Peter Powditch: I had the top floor of Mary Place and the printery called, I think–what was it called?–Original Graphics. Max's Print Shop there that did Blackman's and Drysdale's.

James Gleeson: Was that Charles Bannon?

Peter Powditch: No, no. He did silk screen in Oxford Street. I think it was Original Graphics anyway.

James Gleeson: I see.

Peter Powditch: But Janet Dawson originally set it up. I did that print in 1968. It's called Sun woman I think, Sun woman I.

James Gleeson: Now what is that, a silkscreen?

Peter Powditch: No, that's a lithograph on a zinc plate. That's the first one I did and again probably the best one. I knew nothing about printmaking. I did that plate. I did things. I put contact on the plate. I bloody just drew it and it just worked. That night I got a book on printmaking and read all the things not to do, you know. I mean, thank Christ I didn't read it before. The other thing is that I could never use contact again. Contact would leave the bloody glue on the plates and spread everywhere, and it just shows you.

James Gleeson: Yes. Jumping in and it came off.

Peter Powditch: I did that. I think I was sick at the time. No, I wasn't. I did that just because Max wanted me to do a plate. Then I got sick at some stage and was just not energetic enough to get up and down the stairs and I started a series of prints. Robert Brown, who was a sculptor, Bobby Brown was printing there at the time; Jimmy Sweetman, somebody else. I just started a series of prints of which you have most of them. There's probably four or five missing.

James Gleeson: I see.

Peter Powditch: They were then shown in a Gallery A show with Bruce Petty, myself, and a guy that I think just died recently. A concrete poet who did some silk screens, an English concrete poet that was in Australia. I don't know when that show was. I'll just see if I can see it here. Original lithographs, 1969 I showed the whole set of prints.

James Gleeson: Where at?

Peter Powditch: Gallery A.

James Gleeson: Gallery A.

Peter Powditch: It would have gone to Melbourne as well.

James Gleeson: When did we get them?

Peter Powditch: Well, you acquired them from Gallery A in Melbourne, by the look, and some recently from Susan Gillespie. Then a few you've got even a note to say you don't know how you got them.


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