The Young Meat Stacker by Avis Smith
Continuing along the thread of Avis Smith, here’s part two. (To read part one, click here)
“When I left hospital pharmacy and entered the South Australian School of Art within the University of South Australia in 1990 to start a 4-year Bachelor of Visual Arts Degree, I knew nothing about artist’s prints. However, the print-making studio looked interesting and had some very good women teachers, so I decided to major in print-making. This is a linocut print. It is made by drawing your artwork onto a piece of thick linoleum, then cutting away the lino surrounding each edge of your pencil lines with a sharp blade so only the lines themselves will carry ink, in this case, black ink. … It can be quite an intricate process….you can add small splashes of water coulour to some areas, as I have done with the background greys in this print……
I have had several solo art exhibitions as well as joint exhibitions with other artisits. In 2003 I joined with another artist friend of mine…and we had a joint exhibition in the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery. (In preparation for this, Ron and I) returned to Broken Hill (where I had formerly worked in the hospital as a pharmacist) to do some drawings for the exhibition. I was interested in drawing what Broken Hill women did. Jobs for unqualified women were not easy to get, as it is a large isolated mining town miles from any major centre or other large town, and preferences for unskilled employment were likely to go to single girls. I observed that many unemployed women were obese.
(Ron) was very useful, as he can easily strike up a casual conversation. We took our shopping trolley into Woolworth’s supermarket food store in an area of Broken Hill called Railwaytown. I had my sketch book with me. If I saw an interesting shopper I would ask Ron to engage her in conversation for a few minutes while I stood unobtrusively nearby and sketched her! … I had a ball! However I asked this particular shop assistant to ‘stand still for a short while’, which she did. I was intrigued by how young she was and the sign of ‘Veal’ behind her reminded me that she herself was ‘young meat on the hoof’ which is a slang term used by raunchy males at times when they are eying up a pretty girl. Her colourful apron also caught my eye. In The Young Meat Stacker linocut, I outlined behind her, an image of the usual fat woman pushing a trolley along the shopping aisles.”
Many thanks, again, Avis.
Ginger Manley, Founder
The Nurses’ Apron Partnership