The Yeomans Project Newspaper

The following is a post by Louise Kate Anderson, who has worked tirelessly behind the scenes, supporting Ian and me, making The Yeomans Project possible. Louise works with me at Big Fag Press, and is a young artist, designer and arts manager.

In this post, purloined from her own blog, Louise discusses the process of designing and managing the printing of the Yeomans Project Newspaper, which is available for free at the AGNSW exhibition. Louise also produced the “website screenshot” digital prints of Milkwood, f(route), Diego Bonetto and Artist as Family which are featured in the show.

Louise Anderson at the Big Fag Press

Louise Kate Anderson at the Big Fag Press

In 2011, I started working on printing a series of works by Lucas Ihlein and Ian Milliss for the Yeomans Project on the Big Fag Press which was to be exhibited at ACCA in Melbourne. You can see I wrote a post about it in my blog here. The prints went on to win the 2012 Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award.

Here is Lucas holding up one of the prints:

In the lead up to another Yeomans exhibition, this time at the Art Gallery of NSW, Lucas Ihlein and Ian Milliss asked me to assist them in some of the legwork for the show, mainly making up some posters, and designing a newspaper based on their research blog.

The Yeomans Project recognises the work of PA Yeomans, an Australian inventor who came up with what’s known as the Keyline concepts in agriculture and farming. The AGNSW exhibition is interestingly retrospective, as a similar proposal for an exhibition was rejected in the 70s when the trustees felt that such work was not art. Just goes to show how the meaning of art has changed in the last 40 years!

The posters I designed were based on websites of other artists or artist groups who use agriculture, farming or food as the basis of their art practice: (f)route, Artist as Family, Milkwood Permaculture and Diego Bonetto (who is also a partner of the Big Fag Press).

An interesting off-topic note: When I did my short course on social media business marketing at Media School, (who have no particular association with art or agriculture), Milkwood Permaculture were their prime example of awesome social media marketing. Small world, huh?

Anyway, for the posters, I had to request high resolution images and names of fonts, and loosely put together information about each artists’ practice in one poster for the exhibition. Here are some of my proof prints stuck to my hallway wall! (yes they look better in the art gallery).

And here are the posters in the gallery (and Diego next to his one). I keep meaning to get back to the AGNSW and take some better photos of the whole exhibition but I haven’t had time! If you wanted to see some of Lucas’ photos of the launch, they are here.

The University of Wollongong (where Lucas teaches Media & Arts) funded the production of a newspaper for the exhibition which was based on the Yeomans Project blog.

It was a great experience getting it printed at MPD in Alexandria. At the Big Fag we print one hand fed sheet at a time, one colour at a time, about 100 imprints a day, not to mention an hour of cleaning up. I’ve explained our process in more detail in this post from ages ago. For this newspaper, MPD were using their web press machine. Now, the big fag is big, but, this is a BIG machine:

These are the rolls of paper they use to feed through the machine:

And here are the first proofs I had to look at to see if the colours were all right. (This took a bit of time).

Then see all these knobs here? Apparently they change the balance of the ink somehow. So for example, when I said a page was looking too yellow, they could fix it for the next proofing.
Here is my contact at MPD, Eleanor holding up one of the plates they use in the machine. They don’t look too much different to our Big Fag plates! And on the right is the big roll of paper being fed into the machine.


So, the Big Fag does about 100 imprints of one giant page a day, and that’s just one colour… this web press machine does 15,000 copies of a full colour newspaper in 1 hour! Here are some videos of the newspaper being printed:


Amazing! I would love to know more about how the web press machine works, I think it’s fascinating.

So, all this was great fun but a harrowing few weeks designing the posters and newspaper during the time I was working at Sculpture by the Sea. I’m really proud of the way it all looks though!

 Art Gallery of NSW advertising for the Yeomans Project

The AGNSW exhibition is on in the Contemporary Project Space until 27 January 2014. The newspapers are free at the exhibition, so please pick one up!

*All photos and videos are by Louise Kate Anderson, unless captioned otherwise.

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