Poster art has evolved significantly from the early posters first produced in Australia in the early 19th century that only featured text, to the posters in the Di Holdway Collection that are characterised by bold designs and effective use of photographic and graphic screen-print techniques.
This particular poster is from the Di Holdway Collection, an important poster archive that shows the emerging political voice of Australia's youth culture through poster art; a collection that shows how posters were used as a political tool during the 1970s and 1980s to actively communicate information to a mass audience. The poster reveals how the decorative style has effectively been engaged to highlight social issues and reflect the emerging politicisation of a generation. This use of posters for social and political intent, helped politicise a generation - by illustrating that art could make political comment and influence social action.
The resurgence of printmaking in Australia in the 1970s emerged as a consequence of Gough Whitlam's Labor government abolishing tertiary education fees and introducing Advanced Colleges of Education. This resulted in more opportunities for artists in training from different socio-economic backgrounds, bringing a different perspective to art. Included in the collection are posters by renowned Australian print makers Jan Mackay (designer of this work), Chips Mackinolty, Michael Callaghan, Marie McMahon and Indigenous-designed posters. Posters from innovative print workshops, Earthworks Poster Collective and Redback Graphix are also included. Many of the posters are rare and now viewed as highly collectable.
Wendy Circosta, Volunteer with Anne-Marie Van de Ven, Curator (updated 2018)