Agave Print Studio
Dianne Longley is one of those people with connections so extensive that it seems every printmaker in Australia knows her. When mentioning to Tess Edwards at Baldessin that I was from Adelaide, she told me that Dianne had had a studio there for many years but had recently moved and just this year opened a new studio at Trentham, north-east of Ballarat. I was lucky enough to find that Dianne would be able to see me on the day that I left Melbourne for Ballarat and so I turned up at Agave Print Studio on Friday 27th Feb.
It was an easy drive from Melbourne, about an hour’s journey, along a road punctuated by eucalyptus forests (in my, admittedly biased, view, the most beautiful tree species in the world). The huge A-frame of the studio dominated the plot; next to it, Dianne is having a house built (and hoped to move in in a couple of weeks).
Upstairs are two self-contained apartments:
The rest of the painting of the beams awaits scaffolding and a stained glass panel at each peak will complete these beautiful apartments. (The second apartment was being temporarily occupied by Dianne until her house is finished.)
The studio is fully equipped for relief and intaglio printmaking (non-toxic chemicals but still using oil-based inks):
with UV unit and specialist inkjet printers:
plus storage and all the space you would need for teaching, talking, drawing and plate preparation as well as cooking and eating:
Dianne has a special interest in Printmaking with Photopolymer Plates (the title of the book she has written on the subject, available online from her website) and this is reflected in her course offerings though she also has classes in, among others, linocut, drypoint, letterpress as well as the making of artist books.
Getting back to Dianne’s connections, she mentioned that she would be a speaker at the Art Vault Triennial (see post here) and I later discovered that she had recently spent time with Mei Sheong Wong whom I met at Bittondi (see post here).
Dianne kindly gave me a copy of her book as well as some of her past exhibition catalogues to take back to Leicester Print Workshop. I had a wonderful time talking to Dianne (even, occasionally, about printmaking!) and was in awe of the progress she has made in completing her studio and the house next door as well as of the plans she has for the garden. I want to thank her for her time and hospitality. She has created the perfect place to combine printmaking and relaxation and is just the person to enable both for anyone who visits.