Recipient of the Firestation Print Studio Graduate Print Access Prize.__________________________________


I am an emerging, print-based artist living and working in Djilang/Geelong, Victoria. Having spent the last couple of decades raising my two daughters, I decided to return to study in 2019 and am currently completing a BAFA at RMIT. My practice looks at the domestic environment and our relationships therein—with family, the objects we surround ourselves with and, most importantly, with ourselves. Through print processes, I endeavour to look below the surface, to explore what might be hidden under the rug and to highlight the often-trivialised work and care associated with raising a family and running a household.

Using a combination of traditional and contemporary print methods, Setting a Place highlights a comparison between past and present regarding family life, centred around the family dinner. Embedded in print are many elements that mimic domestic labour: the apron and gloves attire, cleaning and polishing plates, soaking and blotting paper, to name a few. Physical touch and care are layered within both print and the home. This focus on the internal environment of the home will also allow for reflection on the domestic, unpaid labour, traditionally performed by women. How has this role changed over time and what improvements would benefit women and their families?

Through feminising the work by utilising hand-stitching and domestic objects, I aim to engage the viewer on a personal level in seeking to promote the connective force of the family dinner. I believe that the strengthening of bonds within families through regular family dinners will lead to healthier, more connected communities, built from these families.

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Sarah Karnis