There have been many enquiries about the technical details of Sir Arthur Streeton’s zinc and copper plate posthumous prints and we find this understandable given today’s broad use of the term ‘limited edition prints’. People unfamiliar with printmaking can’t be expected to know the details.
Queenscliff Gallery & Workshop’s (QG&W) view and gallery concept is simple – the print (impression) must be hand printed. A digital file of an image output to any printer, is not representative of printmaking – not even if the paper is archival, not even if the print is numbered and/or signed.
Our QG&W concept is in the unique and the hand made.
The impressions (or limited edition prints as they are often referred to) from Sir Arthur Streeton‘s etchings were each editioned by Theo Mantalvanos – each print requiring its own attention. The time-lapse video gives a quick glimpse of Theo producing one impression of Sir Arthur Streeton’s Doge’s Palace etching.
If Sir Arthur Streeton were with us today and Theo was his chosen printer, Sir Arthur Streeton would have gauged the edition with a print known as a Bon a Tirer (good to pull), signed BAT. Theo would have had to remain consistent with the BAT when producing any subsequent impressions (only 10% variance is acceptable). And of the agreed total number of editions, only 10% of proofs can exist marked ‘artist proof’ (AP).
The Streeton family and QG&W Directors agreed to take no artistic license in the editioning of Sir Arthur Streeton‘s etchings given no signed AP existed. The prints remain a record of the moment Sir Arthur Streeton last touched them with the unfortunate markings of some neglect.
A total of 50 impressions plus the permissible 5 printers proofs will only ever exist. There are just six individual impressions and 11 full sets available to the public from each of Sir Arthur Streeton’s plates. At the conclusion of the the Streeton Prints exhibition, Sir Arthur Streeton‘s plates and the initial proofs will be sent to the National Gallery of Australia.