30 May – 16 June 2019
about the exhibition
Julian Laffan specialises in woodcuts and drawings, exploring themes of history and identity. He hand-carves his woodcuts and chooses not to print his blocks, instead creating unique works by directly colouring the woodblock with pencil and gouache. This is a conscious decision to reference the historical use of the woodcut for the dissemination of information and images. Each of Julian’s works thoughtfully transcribes his experience with this most recent series focusing on the intimacy of the interior. His pieces are a “reflection of place and time in a single captured moment carved and suspended as an image in timber”. Julian seeks to replace the instantaneous circulation of information and imagery, so common today, with prolonged meditation; a single tableaux documented through deliberate labour. Alluding to the illuminated manuscripts that were superseded by the invention of the printing press in the 15th Century, “these works return to the notion of hand coloured individual pieces, working in direct opposition to their potential as a matrix for the replicated image in this digital age.”
Julian Laffan graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Arts (Visual) in 2004. He held his first solo exhibition the following year in 2005 and since then has exhibited frequently, particularly within the Canberra region. Julian has worked on cross-cultural print based projects in East Timor, Indonesia and the Thai-Burma border and travels regularly. His work is held in the collections of the Canberra Museum and Gallery and the Print Council of Australia.