Garage Graphix Community Arts Inc was a community art, design and screen printing workshop, based in Mount Druitt, Western Sydney (1981–1998). The ‘Garage’ was established by arts workers active in the women’s movement, who were committed to enabling community members to express their own culture and beliefs and to illuminate issues of concern. In achieving its objectives, the Garage operated with collaborative decision making principles. In its time it was at the forefront of community arts practice and artist activism. It shared many of its attributes and political activism with like organisations across Australia including; Tin Sheds (University of Sydney), Redback Graphix (Sydney), Redletter Press, Another Planet Posters (Melbourne), CoMedia (Adelaide) and Megalo Press (Canberra).
Operated as a professional arts organisation, Garage Graphix employed artists and cultural workers to develop, train and mentor local community, students and artists in the collaborative production of posters. As seen in this exhibition, posters articulated and promoted a range of concerns and issues including; education, health, environment and pollution, Aboriginal rights, deaths in custody and women’s rights. In the 1980s the Garage further developed its capacity by operating a design service, and uniquely and importantly, an Aboriginal Arts Program This mode of practice was supported by Commonwealth and State funding agencies across the arts, health and education sectors.
In the collaborative production of posters, many individuals participated in the processes of conceptual development, discussion, design, printing and distribution. Posters were first and foremost produced under the banner of Garage Graphix, using the equipped space and skills of the artsworkers to varying degrees. Those individuals involved in the critical period of the 1980s when these works were produced, include long term Garage Graphix arts workers, Alice Hinton-Bateup, Maxine Conaty, Marla Guppy, Karen Vance and Lin Mountstephen.
The Gallery would like to thank Alice Hinton-Bateup for her critical insight, and generosity in the loan of artworks for display.