Mothers & Ink workshops

Artist Khanya Ibrahim. Photography by Tamaryn Goodyear

Artist Khanya Ibrahim. Photography by Tamaryn Goodyear

Artists Nadia Ahmed. Photography by Tamaryn Goodyear

Artists Nadia Ahmed. Photography by Tamaryn Goodyear

In true neighborhood collaboration, TOP has been running print workshops with women from the Horn of Africa community at the Carlton Housing Estate.

From February to April 2013, TOP printmakers made a weekly excursion down Johnston Street, setting up a makeshift studio in the Church of All Nations Community Drop-In Centre.

Held next to the Horn of Africa homework club, the workshops were established with mothers in the local community to provide an introduction to printmaking while their children received tutoring.

Beginning with the broad theme of ‘pattern and design’, the workshops became industrious afternoons of conversation, rapid design work and experimentation with different print techniques by hand.

Seven keen artists continued the project into its second phase, using the press in the TOP Studio to refine their work in preparation for exhibition.

While presenting each artist’s distinct individual style, the collective work details East African rituals and vibrant pattern work including henna design, illustrative harvest and food imagery, and traditional motifs in a playful and poetic series of prints.

These limited-edition prints will be exhibited as part of the 2013 Human Right Arts and Film Festival in The Ownership Project Gallery from 16 May to 2 June 2013.

Thank you to everyone who joined the workshops and our fantastic project partners; The Church of All Nations Community Support Program, the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival, and the R.E. Ross Trust.

January 2012 Elcho Workshop

Elcho Island 2012
Elcho Island 2012 prints

Once again we returned to Elcho Island Arts, Galiwinku, to collaborate with local artists. During the three week workshop, artists created limited edition prints centred on the themes of men’s and women’s business. Tommy Minburra and Andrew Markula created a series of culturally significant prints based on ceremonial designs painted onto the chests of young boys during Dhapi ceremony, marking a right of passage into manhood. Female artists chose to focus on subjects relating to their daily lives creating prints depicting pandanus weavings and bush tucker. Overall, the workshop resulted in a strong body of work with bolder designs and brighter colours than previous workshops. For those interested in seeing these prints please email us at

Judy Manany

TOP launches 2012 printmaking classes

The Ownership Project (TOP) is offering short printmaking courses with industry experienced printmakers in 2012. Classes have a maximum of five participants to ensure a valuable learning experience for all involved. In these workshops participants will learn how to design, cut, mix colours and print reduction woodblocks. These sessions will produce an edition of prints for each person to keep. Participants are also invited to include their work as part of a bi-annual group exhibition at TOP gallery.

Course structure

Courses run for 3 hour sessions weekly over 3-4 weeks. Courses run Saturday mornings, 9:00 – 12:00pm. Should there be a group of people interested in holding workshops at an alternate time, this is also a possibility should the numbers allow for it.

Course cost

Course price: $350 (three classes of 3 hours). All materials supplied.

To check availability/book a session or for more information please contact Sean Smith on 0448 567 883 or email

TOP Studio and Gallery, Level 1, 110 Johnston St, Fitzroy, 3065

TOP runs print workshops with design firms Hassel and Woods Bagot

Last month, The Ownership Project ran a series of introductory printing workshops for Koskela Designs and their Melbourne clients. The workshops took place in our Fitzroy studio with Russel Koskela and Kristen Hawkes, from Koskela Design, and other designers from Hassel and Woods Bagot attending. Participants drew and cut lino designs, mixed colours, and learned how to print their designs onto paper and yardage. The range of styles and colours was fantastic with each designer bringing their own unique quality to the medium.


Koskela and TOP have received fantastic feedback from the participants involved and are looking forward to running more workshops in Melbourne in the future. TOP has also been invited to run a workshop in Koskela’s much-anticipated new showroom in Sydney, which opens early next year.


If you wish to create artwork at TOP please see Learn