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The James Gleeson oral history collection

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Gareth Sansom

(Man with hat) 1969
Print, planographic
sheet 99.0 h x 73.5 w cm
Purchased 1971
© Gareth Sansom. Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia
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Gareth Sansom

28 November 1978

James Gleeson: Good. We’ve got one lithograph of yours, 1969 Untitled.

Gareth Sansom: Yes, yes.

James Gleeson: (inaudible) with hat.

Gareth Sansom: Sorry?

James Gleeson: A man with hat.

Gareth Sansom: Man with hat, yes.

James Gleeson: That’s only a descriptive thing. You didn’t give it a title?

Gareth Sansom: No, I think I didn’t title that work. Look, it was an opportunity to do my first lithograph and it was with Janet Dawson at a workshop that Gallery A set up I think in ’66 or seven or eight. I’m not sure when they did that but it was at a storeroom or something about 100 yards from Gallery A. Powditch was working there and Janet was working there and they had a couple of technicians. It was mainly for Gallery A artists and I was a Gallery A artist then. I think Guy Stewart and I went up and did a lithograph each. It really was a finding out experience for me.

James Gleeson: Your only lithograph?

Gareth Sansom: No, I’ve done some since. I’ve done some since, now that I’ve really in the last couple of years done several editions of lithographs, printed by John Robinson who prints Fred Williams’ lithographs. They’re more serious. I don’t want to be cynical about this work, because I’m pleased that it’s part of the collection or whatever, but it really was a finding out lithograph. It was my first.

James Gleeson: Yes.

Gareth Sansom: I didn’t know anything about the medium at all. So as far as I was concerned then it was drawing on a prepared plate with a crayon. That was it, a drawing, and it really was a very strong, surprisingly enough antipodean image. You know, a Blackman, Boyd, Perceval image with a Baldessin hand.

James Gleeson: I see.

Gareth Sansom: I think back about it nostalgically but I don’t think it’s very important work.

James Gleeson: I see. It was drawn directly on to the plate? Stone or zinc?

Gareth Sansom: No, a plate. A zinc plate. A prepared plate.

James Gleeson: Yes.

Gareth Sansom: The only, I think, technical experimentation with that print was we printed it on gloss paper, which is not usual. You usually print any print on an opaque surface. This was printed on some very glossy almost cardboard thickness paper, which gave a surprising feel to it, because all the white areas were shining.

James Gleeson: I see. Now, you’ve mentioned several editions you’ve done since. Where were they done?

Gareth Sansom: Well, John Robertson was working with Technisearch, RMIT and Technisearch worked with Olsen and Blackman and Fred Williams and several other people in 1976, ’77. Then John Robinson, George Baldessin and Less Kossatz then started Dracma Press in West Melbourne. My prints were done with Technisearch.

James Gleeson: I see.

Gareth Sansom: My next press, 1980, will be done with Dracma press.

James Gleeson: Dracma Press.

Gareth Sansom: Probably in February. But printmaking’s not my medium.

James Gleeson: It isn’t?

Gareth Sansom: I think, to be honest, it’s a way of probably letting some young people especially have access to, say, purchasing my work who couldn’t afford to pay what I think the major works are worth.

Gareth Sansom: I always liked the idea of someone like a student, who really does respond to the work, who could never afford to buy a painting, having something like a lithograph or whatever. That’s the reason. I’m not doing it for the money.

James Gleeson: So you’re not really a—

Gareth Sansom: I’m not a printmaker. I’m not a printmaker.

 

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