This Women Against Rape poster, created by Alison Alder for the second ANZAC Day protest in 1982, is evidence of extraordinarily effective political poster making.
This poster attracted a commanding 750 women who marched up ANZAC Parade to the Australian War Memorial, protesting against the use of rape to oppress and intimidate women. The poster’s image, three women walking in step and unison, has a simplicity that belies the power behind the collective force of this political movement.
Fellow artist Julia Church, who features in the poster walking alongside Alison Alder, recalls this ‘Women against Rape’ poster was influenced by sparky conversations and debates between their print collectives, notably led by artist Anne Morris.
Printed at Megalo International Screenprint Collective (Ainslie, ACT)
This work forms part of Mandy Martin’s poster collection that she gifted to Canberra Museum and Gallery in 1998. In her role as Lecturer in the Printmaking Department at the Canberra School of Art, Mandy Martin brought both practical knowledge and an infectious, fearless spirit for making screen-prints to a generation of artists only a few years younger than herself. Battling against a perception that it was a commercial process with application only in community arts, Martin struck initial resistance to the idea that screen-printing was a valid medium to be taught at art school.
With limited employment pathways out of art school, Martin helped facilitate the establishment of ACME Ink through the shifting of her print table to Gorman House in Braddon in 1981. In the cramped conditions of the heritage building Julia Church, Mark Denton, Kath Walters and Alison Alder spent a frenetic few years making posters and prints for causes and events as well as their own creative endeavours. These posters were unleashed on Canberra’s unsuspecting community with its’ carefully planned streets, generating instant attention for a small art community eager to gain visibility and activate change. As commercial galleries were initially reluctant to show their work, this circle of artists contributed to the establishment of Bitumen River Gallery in a car park at the Manuka shops, which continues today as a venue for Canberra Contemporary Art Space. Martin’s print table remains in use at Megalo Print Studio in Kingston.
ACME Ink. had its genesis in the relocation in 1981 of my screenprinting equipment to a separate studio at Gorman House, Braddon ACT. An informal screenprinting cooperative developed; many of its members were graduated students or staff from the Canberra School of Art. The prints they produced addressed social issues and events associated with Canberra…I formed this archive as a personal reference collection.
- Mandy Martin, Donation Statement 1998
405 x 339 mm irreg. (image) 558 x 381 mm (sheet)
Canberra Museum and Gallery, donated through Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Mandy Martin 1998