We formed Breakdown Press as an independent publishing company that publishes writing and visual arts with a political bent. We both became interested and involved in the Black GST campaign and decided that one thing we could do to help raise money for the campaign, and to help get the issues out to different areas of the community, was to produce a poster series, and hence the Stolenwealth Poster Series began. We were really interested in the Black GST collective’s call to autonomously support the campaign. As we are from community arts, graphic design, writing and editing backgrounds we were keen to use our skills in these area and to draw on the responses from other artists and writers concerned with the issues of Genocide, Sovereignty and Treaty. We also thought this could be a way to bring interesting politically motivated creative types and culture makers into the campaign.
So, after consultation with the group and lots of ideas and inspiration, we put out a call for responses to these issues and sent it to artists and writers that we knew, and many that we didn’t but hoped would respond. We were so excited when lots of responses came back in support and from visual artists, graphic designers, poets and academics.
One of the main ideas was to have artists respond to writing by Indigenous writers. Robbie Thorpe helped us so much with ideas and writing and by allowing us permission to use the late Dr. Bruce McGuiness’ poem “Pay the Rent” as well as his own work. Ellie Gilbert allowed us to use Kevin Gilbert’s poem “Kiacatoo”, Tony Birch provided his poem “Hygiene for a Nation’s Soul” and Mitch from Alice Springs also responded with poems that she had written. We also had the amazing quotes from Marji Thorpe and Gary Foley, and Nicole Clevens from Black GST group in Brisbane. Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists include Adam Hill , Bronwyn Bancroft, James Dodd with a portrait of Archie Roach, Targan, Azlan McClennan, Mandy Ord, Boat-people.org and more. The artworks are so diverse in style and in the issues they address or explore. We were impressed by the personal responses, open ended concepts and loaded imagery. All vital to powerful poster design.
The main idea behind the posters being on newsprint was to have them cheap and accessible but to also to comment on the lack of representation of these issues in the mainstream media. We wanted to create an affordable and accessible publication that could be treasured and could also be placed in public places such as at home, in the work place, on community notice boards and in any general public places.
Tom and Lou