12 October 2019

Pambula artist Stan Squire finalist for International Megalo print prize

| Elka Wood
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"Northern Point" by Stan Squire. Photo: Supplied.

“Northern Point” lino print by Stan Squire. Photo: Supplied.

Pambula artist Stan Squire has been announced as one of 38 finalists in the 2020 Megalo International Print Prize, an achievement which must be seen in the context of the Canberra prize attracting 359 entries this year from 229 artists across 32 countries.

“I try to enter one art prize a year,” Stan says. “Just working on one prize entry can be a full-time job so I need to balance it out between my commissions and supplying work to my gallery in Pambula as well.”

With each artwork taking up to a year, from conception through to seeing a final print on the wall in a frame, Stan is a busy guy.

Bega Valley Regional Gallery director Iain Dawson says “it’s incredible to have an artist of Stan’s calibre in the Bega Valley and we need to acknowledge and support these career artists in our community.”

Stan’s work can be seen on the big water tank coming into Merimbula and he has been a finalist in the Shirley Hannon portrait award, run through the Bega Valley Regional Gallery.

“I have a strong connection to the Far South Coast, my family is from here, I grew up here and I’m raising my own kids here,” Stan muses. “Inspiration comes through my daily routines, I’m in the natural landscape every day and it’s a huge part of my life.”

Surfing the coastline around his Pambula home provides inspiration for artist Stan Squire. Photo: Supplied.

Surfing the coastline around his Pambula home provides inspiration for artist Stan Squire. Photo: Supplied.

While he’s always been interested in creative pursuits, Stan says he didn’t really come to art full time until he was in his thirties.

“I was always interested in drawing growing up,” he explains. “I did as much as I could through high school and for the HSC and then went on to study design at the University of Western Sydney, maintaining my practice through my twenties.”

While Stan started out exhibiting his work at pop-up spaces around Sydney, he’s now got a decade of exhibitions up and down the east coast under his belt.

With his drawing becoming increasingly more detailed and time-consuming, a school friend’s suggestion that he try lino printing was a natural progression in Stan’s style.

“I was spending months on each painting or drawing, and block printing was a technique I found easy and enjoyable. Lino also lets me produce editions of work that suit the price point of my collectors and gets more work onto peoples walls.”

Stan has only recently come to print-making. A detail form a lino carved print. Photo: Supplied.

Stan has only recently come to print-making. Detail from a lino carved tile. Photo: Supplied.

“Stan has taken to lino-print making like a duck to water, he does incredibly fine and detailed works,” Iain comments.

The print which Stan has been listed as a finalist for draws on Indigenous history and land ownership.

“The more time I spend in the local bush, surfing mostly, I’m more in awe of the First Nations culture and how, for the most part, we’re lucky enough to be in an environment that’s remarkably similar to how it’s been here for millennia. This work is my acknowledgement of Aboriginal history and that this land was never ceded. We are still on Aboriginal land,” Stan says.

Stan is chuffed at being shortlisted for the Megalo Prize.

“Megalo is a really cool working studio gallery in Canberra that I would encourage anyone interested in printmaking to visit,” he says. “It’s a huge compliment to have your work chosen to exhibit from an international entry pool and is certainly an inspiration to keep producing my best possible work.”

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