by beth sorensen

Garage Graphix

“In the 1980s Garage Graphix put Mount Druitt on the Australian cultural map. It was an astonishing explosion of energies, ideas and images, admired around the country for the way the ‘Garage’ tackled urgent social and political issues. Forty years later, Garage Graphix posters are still fresh, powerful, and relevant.” – Julie Ewington


The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre
Friday 8 April – Saturday 7 May
Free admission

Curator’s Talk

The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre
Thursday 28 April, 6.00 pm – 7.30 pm
Free admission

Join Talking Poster: Garage Graphix 1981 – 1998 curator Nadia Odlum to unpack the history and stories behind the Garage Graphix archive in a one-off Curator’s Talk. Light refreshments provided and bookings are essential.

Talking Posters: Garage Graphix 1981–1998, presents a selection of screen-printed artworks, textiles and calendars alongside original equipment and materials from the renowned ‘Garage’ in Mount Druitt in western Sydney. The exhibition reveals the role of artistic collaboration in giving voice to community concerns, expressed through the unique styles and typography from a pre-digital era of poster-making.

Situated in Mount Druitt, the Garage Graphix was an outstanding example of community arts practice and leadership in Australia in the eighties and nineties. For the length of its existence, Garage Graphix produced hundreds of political and socially relevant screen-printed posters with, and by its western Sydney constituent base. Garage Graphix led the field in the development of a community-based art workshop, community activism, the telling of western Sydney stories and concerns.

Operationally it led in the development of an Aboriginal arts team, a community graphic design service, arts projects, artist residencies, innovative partnerships and developing Aboriginal arts and mentorships.

For the first time since the Garage Graphix closed its doors, this exhibition at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre will present artworks alongside archival objects and photographs, with an artist-run print studio for visitors.

Curated by Nadia Odlum and presented by Blacktown Arts.

Opening Event will be opened by Mayor of Blacktown City and independent curator, Julie Ewington.

The exhibition will tour to Wagga Wagga Regional Art Gallery from June – August 2022. Selected artworks from the exhibition will be displayed across Council buildings and libraries in 2022 and 2023.

The Poster Centre workshops

The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre
Workshops are on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays
Friday 8 April – Saturday 7 May, 11.00 am – 4.00 pm

*Please note we will be closed for Good Friday on Friday 15 April. Workshops will finish at 3.30 pm on Thursdays 28 April and 5 May.

An artist-led print studio, led by Wendy Murray, will run throughout the exhibition giving open access for visitors to create their own screenprint. The Poster Centre will be an integral part of the public program in which master printmaker, Wendy Murray, has mentored local artists to run screen-printing workshops in Blacktown libraries before the exhibition commences.

Throughout the exhibition period, an open print studio will operate at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre. It will be artist-run, free to participate and open to all visitors and community participants to make a screen-print and add their voices to the long-running tradition of community activism in western Sydney.

We will display the new screen-prints at the The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre and at libraries in Blacktown. The work will be documented and shared online.

Artists, Wendy Murray and Sima Alikhani, with Sima’s screenprints made in The Poster Centre, 2019.

Garage Graphix website

Garage Graphix: Garage Graphix Report Cover 1982, 1982, screenprint on paper. © Lin Mountstephen. Photo: Jennifer Leahy

Garage Graphix: Garage Graphix Report Cover 1982, 1982, screenprint on paper. © Lin Mountstephen. Photo: Jennifer Leahy

An online platform, featuring resources on the Garage Graphix, will be launched to coincide with the exhibition opening and enable permanent and free access to images and a wealth of information about the Garage Graphix.

Proudly funded by the NSW Government in association Blacktown City Council and Blacktown Arts.