The Australian Political Prints and Posters Collection represents key figures and collectives in Australia’s recent print history and helps chart the evolution of contemporary printmaking practices in this country. More than this, the collection is an important historical document reflecting the concerns of Australians between 1960 – 1990.
The Museum’s interest in politics and printmaking was largely spearheaded by former Director Louise Dauth (1994–1996), who had previously worked with Tin Sheds and the Experimental Art Foundation. Under her watch the Museum acquired many political works including the hard-hitting exhibitions TRUTH RULES OK (1983), curated by Christine Goodwin and Ken Bolton, and TRUTH RULES II (1986). More recently the Museum added the Kate Millington and Mandy Martin poster collections to its political holdings. In 2014 the exhibition Mother Nature is a Lesbian: Political Printmaking in South Australia 1970s-1980s, curated by Celia Dottore, highlighted the contribution of South Australian artists to the genre.
Notable artists in the collection include Toni Robertson, Chips Mackinolty, Pam Debenham, Byron Pickett, Marie McMahon, Angela Gee, Alison Alder and Raymond Arnold, as well artists with strong connections to South Australia including Pamela Harris, Anne Newmarch, Trevor Nickolls and Mandy Martin. Collectives include the Anarchist Feminist Poster Collective, Earthworks Poster Collective, Harridan Screen Printers, Jill Posters and the Hole In The Wall Gang among many others.
Mandy Martin, You never had it so good (detail), 1976, screenprint, colour inks on paper, edition 1/20, 70.7 x 50.7 cm, Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Amanda Martin, Flinders University Art Museum 5059