Mike Parr

An invitation in 1987 to create a print for The Bicentennial Folio (a joint commission of the National Gallery of Australia and the Australian Bicentennial Authority) was the genesis of Mike Parr's emergence as a printmaker. Parr, in collaboration with printer John Loane, has now produced over 300 prints.

Born in Sydney in 1945, Parr spent his childhood in rural Queensland. He commenced an arts/law degree at the University of Queensland in 1965 but dropped out the following year.

He moved to Sydney and, in 1968, enrolled to study painting at the National Art School. This was to be a brief sojourn, Parr preferring the freedom of self-development. In 1970, with Peter Kennedy, he established 'Inhibodress', an artists' cooperative and alternative space for conceptual art, performance art and video. Widely known as a performance artist, Parr's videos, drawings, photographs and art pieces have been shown both in Australia and overseas since then. By 1981 he had returned to his first love, drawing, creating large scale self-portraits. Parr was a relative 'novice' printmaker when he produced Solar Winds, yet the prints retain the immediacy of drawing. They have a dynamic forcefulness that springs from a barrage of raw and spiky lines. Parr has been fascinated with observation and the possibilities and responses of memory distortions. His 'landscape' prints are such depictions - memories of views passed by.  

Solar winds 1 - 6
1990 Viridian Press, Melbourne
drypoint on paper

Gordon Darling Fund 1990