Artist guides class to create lino artwork
■ Hedland craft lovers got a jump on the Christmas rush last month by creating their own greeting cards in a special Hedland Arts Council class.
Guided by award-winning artist Amanda Firenze Pentney, the HARTZ members carved their personalised designs into linoleum tiles, before applying ink and printing the images on to Christmas cards.
Firenze Pentney said the cards were a great example of why printing was terrific for art beginners.
“There is nothing highbrow or sophisticated about lino printing and that’s why I like it,” she said. “It is practical and easy and these guys here today can take their designs away and restamp them every year if they want to.”
Even if lino printing is unsophisticated, it has not stopped Firenze Pentney from using the technique to create stunning artworks.
Last week, she travelled to Mildura as a shortlisted finalist in the Australian Print Triennial Prize.
To reach the shortlist, she was named among the best from a field of 175 entries from around the world.
She also won the Hedland Art Awards sculpture category in August when she used lino printing to create the book My Street. In My Street, Firenze Pentney printed images of 29 houses she had lived in during her life, accompanied by written stories and recollections.
She said creating the book was cathartic.
“It was a really amazing, emotional journey,” she said.
“Usually it was the sense of freedom or security that was associated with that house at that time which made them special,” she said.
Firenze Pentney only discovered lino printing in Hedland when she attended a two-nightsa-week Pilbara Institute arts course.
She spent the next few years creating popular card and canvas print designs, which she sold at the West End Markets, Port Hedland Visitor Centre and other outlets.
This year, she secured Federal Government funding with the help of the WA Country Arts and HARTZ to develop her skills as an artist.
Firenze Pentney has now shut down her print design business to focus on her art.
She said she found it hard to believe she had gone from a beginner to a professional artist.
“It has been a hard (journey), but it has shown me so much about myself,” she said.
Amanda Firenze Pentney.