The Friday Group Exhibition
Last night I and three friends opened our exhibition under the title The Friday Group.
The Friday group has a long history dating back to 1995 when three cartoonists living in Stirling started meeting for coffee on a Friday morning. Word of mouth saw more cartoonists join the group with as many as 12 turning up weekly during the early 2000s. Numbers have fluctuated over the years and, in this era of diversity, composition of the group has broadened to include cartoonists/illustrators, painters, graphic designers, film makers, print makers and the occasional comic book artists and publishers.
The group, in its way, continues the tradition dating back to the 1700s in Europe of artists meeting in coffee houses to debate art ideas, philosophy and politics.
Most of our members work alone, so the Friday Group gives us a chance to share a common interest, to show and discuss our latest work and ideas, or just bemoan the latest government cuts to the arts.
This exhibition showcases the work of four of the group’s current regulars.
Allen Hollinshead is a Manchester boy and he has insisted that I tell you that like any true Mancunian he supports Manchester City FC. After studying Fine Art at Hull University majoring in painting and sculpture he enjoyed a bohemian lifestyle. He exhibited twice in Manchester and Hull but soon realised that he didn’t want to be a starving artist. His first job was designing greeting cards and stationery products for three years before immigrating to Australia and took up a position at John Martin’s Display Department. He then joined the ABC as a graphic designer and finally starting a graphic design business in partnership servicing the corporate, film and television industry. After many years of shelving his art, retirement has given him the time to return to his first love and to mount this, his first exhibition in Australia.
Don Hatcher hails from New Zealand and started as a sign writer after which he went into graphic design winning 29 awards for his design work. He moved to Australia in 1983 taking up a lecturing position in Visual Communications at UniSA. In 1995 he retired to concentrate on his freelance work in calligraphy, cartooning and illustration. His calligraphy skills are in high demand and his illustrations and cartoons have been published worldwide. This is Don’s first exhibition.
Simon Kneebone studied Psychology and was a youth worker before becoming a full-time cartoonist in 1981– a calling which still consumes much of his time today. His cartoons appear in many publications in both the government and private sector here and overseas. He has also illustrated 6 children’s books and regularly does live cartooning gigs for government agencies and corporate businesses. This is Simon’s second foray into exhibiting his insightful and very moving drawings.
Now, a little about me. I’m John Martin and I studied at the South Australian school of art and teachers college. After completing my degree in 1970 I went on to teach art in secondary schools for 25 years. In the mid 90s I resigned from the education department and taught private art and cartooning classes and ran regular workshops in schools and libraries throughout the State. During this time I built on my interest in freelance cartooning and illustrating and had cartoons and successful children’s puzzle pages published in newspapers around the world, in fact there are still a couple of papers in India I think who are still running these pages. Leaving the deadlines behind I, like Allen, have gone back to my first love, in this case printmaking. This is my 5th exhibition.